Streaming giant Netflix once committed to making over half of their content original offerings, and they aren’t kidding around (most of the time). In a recent call to investors (per Polygon), Netflix chief of content Ted Sarandos confirmed that the company is developing 30 anime series and 80 original films, with the films said to be released in 2018.
Sarandos offered no new information on what specifically all of this content would be, besides existing, previously announced deals (i.e. Netflix’s deal with Adam Sandler to make an absurd number of films like The Ridiculous Six). The slate of films should be quite eclectic, including blockbusters like David Ayer’s fantasy cop movie Bright, “million dollar Sundance [Film Festival] hit[s]” or something larger like Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Sarandos mentions that the company released eight original films in the past quarter, so it goes without saying that 80 is a pretty significant bump up. In the anime realm, Netflix recently released Neo Yokio, a somewhat bizarre project from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig starring Jaden Smith.
If you’re wondering what the price tag for all of this production looks like, Sarandos confirmed that $8 billion will go to reaching that goal of 50 percent original content, with the hopes of producing global content for non-North American or European audiences—one could connect the dots and see how anime is an integral part of this initiative. But even with that large figure, Netflix CFO David Wells claimed that there was no “timing correlation” between this spending and the recently announced price hike. Says Wells: “This [price increase] has been planned for a long time and we’re sort of growing, slowly growing and planning the business steadily, so we’ve assumed we’re going to grow ASP (average selling price) slowly over time and we’re taking the content up with that as well.”
Additionally, Netflix executives were asked by investors if the company had any interest in acquiring the Weinstein Company, which is under threat of bankruptcy. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings responded by saying, “It would be extremely unlikely for us to be a bidder for the firm.” Probably a good idea to not.