According to a recent analysis, the streaming service Netflix will have spent a total of over $12 billion on original content in 2018 by the end of the year. This is greater than any other movie studio this year, only proving how much Netflix is dominating in the movie and TV business right now.
Starting as a DVD rental business, Netflix has grown incredibly as a company over the years, earning massive amounts of revenue and becoming one of the most powerful players in Hollywood today. While the company really took off when they introduced movies available for streaming, the real big bucks for Netflix today come from their original content. When a movie not made by Netflix is released on the streaming site, the revenue is shared between the distributor and Netflix based on a ratio decided in their contracts. However, when Netflix makes their own material, 100% of the money goes right back into their own wallets.
The Economist has done a detailed analysis of the income and spending of Netflix over the years, charting their top movies and series and tracking how much more dough Netflix puts into their original content each year. This year, Netflix is estimated to have a budget of over $12 billion, getting actually rather close to a $13 billion budget. This is over a $3 billion increase from 2017 when Netflix spent an estimated $9 billion on original content, which is already a huge number to begin with.
For reference, last year, Warner Bros. Pictures spent an estimated $8.2 billion on their content. Warner Bros. is estimated to be the biggest spender in Hollywood outside of Netflix, having a larger release slate than any other studio almost every year. However, Netflix is truly blowing Warner Bros. out of the water, both with their budget and with their content. Compared to Warner Bros.' 23 theatrical releases this year, Netflix is putting out 82 different movies, in addition to over 100 series.
Netflix started making original content with some relatively low budget projects. However, after a number of their series took off incredibly well, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix decided to kick it up a notch. Every year, Netflix is taking things to new limits. A few years ago, Netflix made headlines when they announced they would have a new original series be released every two weeks. Today, that seems like nothing, as they are now shooting to having over 700 original shows release annually, according to a report from earlier this year.
Netflix's movies have done great as well, and are starting to receive as much attention as the original shows. Late last year, Bright became a huge turning point for Netflix, being their most expensive project to date with a budget of almost $100 million. While there is no report of how much Bright earned for Netflix, it must have been a lot as a sequel has already been announced. Since then, Netflix has released a few other high budget movies, including The Cloverfield Paradox, and there are surely a number of other expensive movies on the horizon as well.
While it was no secret that Netflix was going to be a big spender this year, this report from The Economist is still incredibly shocking. Earlier analyses estimated that Netflix would spend somewhere around $8 billion this year, so the report that it is over $12 billion is absolutely incredible. Hopefully Netflix will continue to put out more great content in years to come.