Following a quarter that saw Netflix release several of its most popular titles of all time — per the streamer’s self-reported internal measurements — and a return to subscriber growth after two straight quarters of losses, co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos has said he is feeling “better and better” about the company’s $17 billion content spend budget for 2022, reports ‘Variety’.
“Both the scope and scale, as well as the range and cadence of hits is improving,” Sarandos said, according to ‘Variety’, in a Netflix pre-recorded Q3 earnings interview with his fellow execs, which was released Tuesday afternoon (U.S. Eastern time) following the announcement of the third-quarter results.
“So I feel better and better about that $17 billion of content spend because what we have to do is be better and better at getting more impact per billion dollar spent than anyone else. And that’s how we’re focusing on it. So I think we’re spending at about the right level. And as we re-accelerate revenue, we’ll revisit that number, of course. But we’re a pretty disciplined bunch about that.”
Netflix specifically called out these Q3 titles as “some of our most watched series and films of all time”: Ryan Murphy limited series ‘Dahmer: Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’, the second half of the fourth season of ‘Stranger Things‘, Korean series “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”, and the movies ‘The Gray Man’, whose star lineup included Dhanush, and ‘Purple Hearts’.
Later in the Netflix earnings interview, adds ‘Variety’, Sarandos spoke about what is highly anticipated to be a Q4 hit for Netflix, the ‘Knives Out’ sequel ‘Glass Onion’, which will be released in theatres — but only for one week and on limited screens.
“We’re in the business of entertaining our members with Netflix movies on Netflix,” Sarandos said. “So that’s where we focus all of our energies and most of our spends.”
He added: “Our films are always heavily featured in film festivals around the world because they are in demand, made by the greatest filmmakers on the planet. For all those folks who can’t get to a city where a festival is, this one-week release on 600 screens is a way of creating access to the film and building buzz, the same thing we are in those festivals.”
Sarandos said to look at the one-week theatrical release for ‘Glass Onion’, which begins on November 23, one month before it hits Netflix, “as just another way to build anticipation for the film and build buzz and reputation for the film ahead its Netflix release” rather than comparing it to the windowing of a traditional studio film.