Netflix Set To Spend Almost $20 Billion On Original Content This Year

The Witcher

After spending years as arguably the world’s premiere platform, Netflix are starting to feel the pressure as the so-called ‘streaming wars’ really begin to heat up. Until recently, it was said to be a straight shootout between Netflix and Prime Video in the battle for subscribers, but 2020 massively increases the competition with several new pretenders to the throne already emerging.

Thanks to boasting a range of content that includes the vast majority of the Mouse House’s back catalogue along with the likes of Star Wars, Pixar, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Simpsons, Disney Plus is already the most-downloaded app in the United States despite only launching in November, and hasn’t even gone live globally yet while Hulu, which is majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company, recently passed 25 million subscribers.

Apple TV Plus has also gone live, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi arrives in April, HBO Max launches in May and Universal and NBC’s Peacock drops in June. With three new services in the space of four months, all boasting a huge variety of original content alongside plenty of old favorites, there’s already no way that the vast majority of paying customers will be shelling out for all of them.

To combat this, Netflix are doubling down on their in-house output, and are set to spend an eye-watering $17.3 billion on developing their own projects in 2020. That’s a ton of money, to be sure, and after finally gaining recognition as the creators of critically-acclaimed awards season favorites over the last couple of years, the company have also now started making serious inroads into the blockbuster market.

Having dropped $150 million on Michael Bay’s 6 Underground to the tune of over 80 million viewers, $140 million on The Irishman and $130 million on the third season of The Crown, it seems obvious that Netflix are already sparing no expense, and that’s without even considering the reported $200 million being spent on currently-shooting action flick Red Notice, led by the costly trifecta of Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot.

With Netflix said to be $13.5 billion in debt though, it remains to be seen how much longer this spending model can continue to be sustainable, especially with their number of rivals only set to grow bigger.