Netflix announced in a press release on Monday that the company would be taking on another $US800 million ($1 billion) in debt in order to create more original content. Netflix is already in $US2.37 billion ($3.1 billion) of debt to further Netflix’s vision of being 50 per cent original content. Chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced in January that the company planned to invest $US6 billion ($7.9 billion) total in creating its own movies and TV shows. So it’s half way there.
Netflix has already dramatically decreased its selection of movies and TV shows, so this new content better be pretty dang good if it’s going to replace the many good things we have lost.
As one of the few people who isn’t too into Netflix original series — I think Hulu, HBO and Amazon are all superior, sorry — this feels like a huge gamble. One study shows Netflix’s original content gets 11 per cent better customer reviews than other content on the site. But that doesn’t seem like enough of a reason to invest this much in original programming if the company is also phasing out so many other great movies and TV shows. Why can’t we have both?