LOS GATOS, Calif. – As if linear TV didn’t already have enough competition for eyeballs, Netflix now says it’s planning to air 700 original shows and movies in 2018.
CFO David Wells shared the news at a Morgan Stanley investor conference last week. His forecast includes both new and returning U.S.-based programs, as well as the ones Netflix has acquired internationally.
In its coverage of Wells’ address, Variety noted that the latter of those two categories includes 80 properties, which continue to spread to more territories around the globe.
The library of content hasn’t come cheap. Days after Netflix announced an $8 billion budget for its 2018 content slate, it revealed its plan to take on another $1.6 billion of debt to finance it all. It appears Netflix will keep its wallet open. Wells said all the spending is working. “It’s driving growth. There’s no magic line where you know exactly where you are,” he said.
Netflix reported that it landed 8.3 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2017 – the most subs it had ever gained in a single quarter – most coming from international territories where Netflix is focusing a good chunk of its content acquisition efforts.
In total, Netflix has more than 115 million subscribers around the globe – 54.75 million U.S. subscribers, with 62.83 million international subscribers. Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2018, Netflix estimated it would add 1.45 million new domestic subscribers and 4.9 million new international subscribers.
Ben Munson, a writer with Fiercecable.com, says Netflix has already established a reputation for unleashing new content “at a torrid pace, but the service’s 2018 plans are still somewhat mind-boggling. That [700 original shows] comes out to roughly two new movies or shows per day for the entire year.”