Netflix CFO David Wells has said that the streaming giant will spend $8bn on around 700 original TV shows and films in 2018.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, he added that 80 of these projects would be non-English language shows.
Discussing their global strategy, Wells said: “More and more of what you’ll see is production coming from all parts of the world, from global production centres.
“People love high production values and good story, they don’t care where it comes from. Our focus is building out our global production muscle and increasing product in various parts if the world.”
He added that shows such as Dark (Germany), Club Of Crows (Mexico), The Mechanism (Brazil) and Money Heist (Spain) were performing well for Netflix outside their original market. “Many shows might have a much wider audience than their home language country,” he explained. “It’s an increasingly connected and global world through social media.”
Wells said that Netflix is not trying to replace local television in markets such as India, but instead provide an additional high-end service. “We’re providing a new global product,” he said. “Some of these territories are used to low production values. People said we’d need a lot more local content to succeed in Brazil but that’s not been the case.”
Wells said that 20% of Netflix content last year was original, but he sees this increasing. “Could it get to over 50%? It could,” he said.
“Doing more of our own [originals] benefits us economically. We have the ability to launch globally, we don’t have country windows to deal with. We’re a global product, we like launching globally and making it available to Netflix members all at the same time. But there’s no religion in terms of [percentage of licensing vs original]. Expect continued original growth from Netflix.”
Wells also discussed the recent deal Netflix signed with Ryan Murphy. The five-year package worth up to $300m lured the Emmy-winning producer away from 20th Century Fox.
“Ryan has been a very successful and prolific producer, very commercially successful,” said Wells. “These deals are going to be rarer than you might think. You have to have that track record. We’re pleased with the type of content he creates, in terms of popularity globally, not just the US, he gives a lot of people joy. There’s some risk but in the great scheme of the $8bn [we spend on content] these deals are rare, we’re not doing 10 of them.”