When it comes to original programming, Netflix is just getting started. The streaming giant has continued spending billions upon billions on new content each and every year, producing and acquiring hordes of new titles in the hopes of distancing itself from its competitors. In 2021, Netflix will be spending more on originals than ever before.
On Tuesday, Netflix told its shareholders that the company plans to spend more than $17 billion this year on content, whether that be producing something from scratch or acquiring it from other companies and studios. That's a pretty substantial jump up from the past couple of years. $13.9 billion was spend on content in 2019, followed by $11.8 billion in 2020, despite the effects of the pandemic.
“As we’ve noted previously, the production delays from Covid-19 in 2020 will lead to a 2021 slate that is more heavily second half weighted with a large number of returning franchises,” said Netflix in a letter to shareholders. “And while the roll out of vaccines is very uneven across the world, we are back up and producing safely in every major market, with the exception of Brazil and India. Assuming this continues, we’ll spend over $17 billion in cash on content this year and we’ll continue to deliver an amazing range of titles for our members with more originals this year than last.”
Netflix has already shown this year how much money it's willing to spend on originals, even before there was a figure to represent it. Shows like Stranger Things and Shadow and Bone have massive budgets behind them, as do films like Red Notice and Army of the Dead.
There's also the matter of acquired titles to consider. Netflix recently committed more than $450 million to produce two Knives Out sequels with Rian Johnson. The upcoming animated film The Mitchells vs. the Machines was purchased from Sony after its theatrical release had been delayed multiple times.
Netflix has plenty on the way in the coming years, and the service is putting money behind all of these new titles to stand out amongst a very crowded streaming landscape.