Streaming service Netflix, which is set to exceed $11 billion in revenue this year, does not need Disney’s contents for its global growth, said CEO Reed Hastings.
“Disney is a great brand with great content. You can see that we have done very well in international without it,” Hastings said in an interview.
Earlier in August, Disney has announced to take out its content from Netflix and start its own live streaming from 2019. According to reports, the service will serve as the exclusive U.S. SVOD home for live-action and animated movies. The announcement to withdraw its Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films from Netflix’s library, had hit Netflix’s stock.
Meanwhile, Netflix added 4.45 million international subscribers and raised its international subscriber total to 56.48 million, said its recent quarter result. Netflix has added more than 17 million international subscribers in the past year.
Netflix offers its service in most international markets with the exception of China, North Korea and Syria. The company has emphasised that exclusive original content would be the big driver for its future growth.
“ With $17 billion in content commitments over the next several years and a growing library of owned content ($2.5 billion net book value at the end of the quarter), we remain quite comfortable with our ability to please our members around the world. We’ll spend $7-8 billion on content (on a P&L basis) in 2018,” the company said.
Netflix will increase its spending on original content to $7 billion to $8 billion next year, another big jump in content spending from $6 billion in 2017.
Netflix growth in India
For India, Netflix recently announced a series of original contents. It started animated series “Mighty Little Bheem,” based on the well-known Indian cartoon character Chhota Bheem.
The company, already released India-specific stand-up specials by Vir Das and Aditi Mittal, is also working on original content for adult viewers. It has announced three Netflix original series from India – Sacred Games (based on Vikram Chandra’s novel, with Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane slated to direct some episodes), Selection Day (based on Arvind Adiga’s novel) and Again (a supernatural detective series written by Marisha Mukerjee, who is also a writer on Quantico).
Netflix’s VP-International Originals, Erik Barmack told ET that the firm will make other 4-5 original shows from India. This quarter, among other new offerings, the company plans to release the second Netflix original series from David Fincher (Mindhunter), new seasons of our globally acclaimed franchises Stranger Things and The Crown, Italian and German original shows (Suburra and Dark) and movie, Bright, starring Will Smith and directed by David Ayer. Netflix plans to open its first office in India later this year in Mumbai.
Competitors, in the same space, are also eyeing to seize live streaming content market and have been chalking out ways to claim market share.
Netflix and Amazon have set aside almost Rs 2,000 crore each for acquiring content in India. Amazon Prime Video signed up 9.5 million active subscribers since its launch in December. Netflix is reported to have reached half that number.
Amazon Prime Video’s unlimited ad-free, on-demand service comes for an annual subscription of Rs 499, against Netflix’s Rs 500-600 for a single month.
Recently, Amazon Prime Video also released three original India-specific web series – Inside Edge, Going Viral and Laakhon Mein Ek. On its platform, it offers stand-up specials by 14 Indian stand-up comedians.
Where as Reliance Jio also signed a multi-year deal with Roy Kapur Films (RKF) to curate, commission, develop and produce original digital video content for Jio’s streaming platform.