14 MAR 2024

Netflix’s content spending is mainly outside of North America

According to a research by Ampere, the platform is now allocating 51% of its film and TV budget abroad.

14 MAR 2024

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More than half of Netflix's content budget is now allocated to original and acquired content sourced outside of North America, according to Ampere's content spend modelling. This year, 51% of Netflix's $15bn film and TV budget is expected to be directed towards internationally-sourced content.

With 70% of Netflix subscribers located outside North America, producing and licensing local content remains crucial for fostering organic subscriber growth and minimising churn. Europe stands as a significant beneficiary, capturing ~35% of Netflix’s total content investment. Europe’s big five markets, particularly the UK and Spain, attract substantial investment. Netflix has strategically established production facilities in both markets, benefitting from local tax incentives.

Beyond Europe, South Korea, Japan and China emerge as top international markets for Netflix's content spending. These investments not only generate returns locally but also serve as crucial titles for engaging a global audience, as evidenced by Netflix’s own audience data indicating that non-English titles contribute to ~30% of viewing. Other big industry player, Amazon, is the leading streaming commissioner in Latin America, as also reported by Ampere.

Amid the TV industry's heightened focus on profitability, international content spending represents a risky but rewarding proposition. Netflix's international production capabilities are a key differentiator in the streaming market, with the release of international originals helping to shield the streamer from the impact of the U.S. actors’ and writers’ strikes. This advantage is not without its challenges, however, with international consumers expecting a steady supply of freshly curated, localised content. In contrast to Netflix, industry peers Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery have scaled back their international commissioning activity, redirecting focus to Hollywood franchises, films, and TV series for a more secure investment amid economic uncertainties.