Netflix wants to change the way it invests in exclusive shows after the streaming service recently lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the company is now planning to create fewer shows than resonate more with its subscribers.
“After churning out over 500 original programs last year, Netflix is looking to add fewer new titles, with a greater emphasis on quality, people familiar with the company’s strategy said. It is revamping production deals to limit its risk, and prioritizing programs with the biggest return, not the greatest reach, the people said. A key internal metric: the ratio of a program’s viewership to its budget,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.
Netflix still plans to increase its investments in Netflix Originals this year to over $20 billion, and the company said that it won’t compromise on quality. “We’re always going to make great shows and have the amount of money needed for the creator’s vision,” said Netflix Head of Global TV Bela Bajaria in an interview.
If Netflix remains the biggest SVOD service with over 220 million subscribers, it’s facing increased competition from HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, or Apple TV+. All these services are investing a lot of resources into exclusive content to attract more subscribers, and they’re also quick to cancel anything that doesn’t find an audience.
Netflix recently had a huge hit with Squid Game, a show that didn’t have high production costs compared to other Netflix exclusives such as Stranger Things, which is now on its fourth season. However, producers have told the Wall Street Journal that Netflix has been trying to lower costs for renewed shows by reducing the number of episodes in new seasons. According to Bajaria, though, shorter seasons are “always about the creative” and not money.
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