Original commissions are set to account for a fifth of Netflix’s content spend within the next few years.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told the RTS Cambridge Convention that less than 10% of his programming budget currently goes on original shows such as House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black and that this share is set to more than double.
He said he had no plans to be any more hands-on with creatives and that he used customer data not to dictate content but to forecast the size of a show’s potential audience, and correspondingly its budget.
Netflix will continue to focus on serialised narratives, he added.
The on-demand service now has 31 million subscribers in the US and 7 million across its other 40 territories, though it chooses not to break down its audience by market.
Sarandos said that as he is not beholden to advertisers or carriage fees, there is no rationale to reveal ratings to shareholders.
“The performance of House of Cards doesn’t move the metrics of our business at all,” he said. “It’s a very small proportion of our spend and reaches a small proportion of our audience. On a given night, people might watch 40,000 different shows in all our territories.”