Netflix Continues to Spend on Original Content and Shows

In the fourth quarter, Netflix’s global paid subscriber base reached 139.3 million.

Sophia Nicholson - Author

Jan. 23 2019, Published 2:38 p.m. ET

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Netflix’s global subscriber base 

Netflix (NFLX) is the world leader in movie and TV streaming and remains focused on investing in original content as well as original programming to grow its subscriber base. In the fourth quarter, Netflix’s global paid subscriber base reached 139.3 million and is anticipated to reach 148.2 million at the end of the first quarter.

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Netflix’s investments in original content

Netflix started investing in original content in 2014 with $3 billion and invested more than $8 billion in original programming in 2018. Like Netflix, Amazon (AMZN) also has plans to spend more than $4 billion on the content budget in 2018, while Apple is also expected to shell out $1 billion in content spending this year. Hulu has reportedly spent about $2.5 billion on content in 2018, which was the same as in 2017. Hulu is jointly owned by Walt Disney (DIS), Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox, and AT&T’s (T) WarnerMedia.

Netflix’s original shows and movies in Q4

In the fourth quarter, the company debuted new scripted series such as The Haunting of Hill House, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and The Kominsky Method. Shows like You and Sex Education are expected to be watched by over 40 million households in the first four weeks.

The streaming king is also making investments in original movies. For instance, the company released original films such as Bird Box, Dumplin’ , The Christmas Chronicles, Private Life, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in the fourth quarter. In December, Netflix said that more than 45 million households watched Bird Box in its first seven days, and the company expects that around 80 million households will view the movie in the first four weeks of its release. Netflix’s film Roma also became a huge hit and is still running in theatres after five weeks of its debut in December. Netflix’s first interactive movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, released on December 28, is also attracting viewers’ attention.

Plans for 2019

Like 2018, Netflix plans to continue to invest in content and launch many new titles in 2019 including The Umbrella Academy, Triple Frontier, The Irishman, 6 Underground, and The Politician. Viewers can also expect returning seasons of The Crown, 13 Reasons Why, Elite, Stranger Things, and many others in 2019.


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