Netflix has been far from selective when it comes to commissioning original content in recent years, but that’s about to change, according to a new report.
According to The Information‘s sources, the streaming giant plans to be more judicious when it comes to splashing the cash on big budget projects.
The report says Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos recently met with his top film and TV executives to pass on the message – purse strings must be tightened. Sarandos reportedly told them the goal with big budget projects should no longer be to create buzz, or industry cred.
Amid incoming pressure from Apple and Disney, the goal is now to bring in lots of viewers, the source said. Spending on the bigger products will also need to be more “cost effective” according to the report.
One project that drew particular ire from Sarandos was the Ben Affleck vehicle Triple Frontier, which cost $115m and flopped dramatically. It bombed, and not in the “Affleck, you the bomb in Phantoms, yo!” way either.
All being said, this is a massive shift from the perception of the ‘Netflix, you’re greenlit’ perception hilariously lampooned by that South Park episode a few years back.
The company is still on course to spend $15 billion on new content in 2019, but it appears we’ve seen the end of this scattergun approach to original content that saw Netflix show little regard for prudence.
According to recent reports, the company spends unto $13m per episode on hit drama The Crown, while Orange is the New Black costs $4m an episode. The company reportedly paid stand-up comedian Chris Rock $60m for three specials, while Dave Chappelle got a similar wedge of cash.
Meanwhile, the company is thought to have spent $200m combined on Marvel series Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage.