Netflix Shoots to Be 50% Original Content

By Steve Safran Comment

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 8.41.19 AMNetflix is looking to have half its programming be original in the next few years,  company CFO David Wells said this week. That sounds like a lofty goal, but Wells says the company is already a more than a third of the way there.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Brokers Conference Tuesday, Wells said the non-linear aspect of the channel means it can have a wide variety of programming, and not need one big hit to be a success:

“We don’t have to aggregate a bunch of people around a certain night and then make a call on that night whether we’re successful or not.

“We can build audience over time and grow that to a point where we don’t necessarily have to have home runs. We’ve described it in the past as singles and doubles are fine. We love home runs, but we can also live with singles, doubles, and triples definitely commensurate to their cost.”

Netflix has shown it has a keen eye for talent. At the Emmys this year, it won nine awards. It’s also an expensive goal: Netflix is spending $5 billion on original programming this year, and expects to spend $6 billion next year.

But Netflix is seeing strong numbers in people who return. “The percentage of rejoins or the folks that come back are fairly high,” Wells said. “We said in the past it’s been anywhere from a third up to 50 percent.”

Netflix access will be easier for a lot of people soon. This week Comcast announced it will be incorporating Netflix into its X1 boxes in a beta test, before rolling it out in wide release later this year.