On Monday, at the UBS 44th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos delved into the company’s plans for 2017, and naturally they’re quite grandiose.
For starters, they’re going do double the amount of original programming available on their platform, and told those in attendance that they’re aiming to have 1,000 hours of original content available by the close of 2017. What’s more, that figure of 1,000 hours was labeled “conservative” by Sarandos. What’s perhaps most ambitious is the company’s plan to kick off unscripted reality TV programs.
One of the “20 unscripted shows” will include a competition series called “Ultimate Beastmaster,” which will be produced by NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” producer David Broome and Sylvester Stallone. The true aim of this program is to broaden Netflix’s global audience. After all, the show will be the first global, on-demand competition with contestants and hosts from the United Sates, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany and Japan.
It should be noted that while Stranger Things was the first series created in Netflix’s in-house studio, the company isn’t looking to do too much m ore of that. They’re more keen on purchasing rights to series and having other studies produce the content, allowing Netflix to operate as a distributor rather than a production company. When you take into account the cost of production you’d have to say that their attitude towards producing content in-house makes sense. Ultimately, this is about original content and Netflix want at least half of of their available content to be original series, which gives HBO, Starz and others reason to be concerned.
In particular, FX president John Landgraf called out Netflix for their strategy, essentially arguing that they’d be monopolizing the industry by saying that it woud be “particularly bad if anyone in one company … were able to seize a 40 or 50 or 60 percent market share in storytelling.”
Even so, Netflix flat out knows which TV shows and movies people will watch back to back and have come up with “binge pairings” that connect the dots. So they don’t need to own all the content so long as they own enough content to keep you bouncing from one show or movie to another.
They know you, your viewing habits, where you like to watch your content, which nostalgic buttons to push and pretty much everything else about you. And with their mobile app becoming the top grossing app in the U.S. iPhone App Store, it’s safe to say that they’ve got this whole thing figured out.
Cable companies beware.