Media Netflix Future of TV

Netflix’s investment in programming is now only topped by Disney and NBC, as the streaming site continues to outspend traditional TV giants


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

October 17, 2016 | 3 min read

Netflix and Amazon have doubled their annual expenditure over the past two years, shelling out a combined $7.5bn on programming in 2015.

Netflix the Crown

The Crown: Netflix's new series cost £100m

In 2013, Amazon spent $1.22bn on shows, which jumped to $2.67bn in 2015, while Netflix spending jumped from $2.38bn to $4.91bn in the same timeframe.

The figures suggest that the levels of investment from the pair are topped only by NBC at $10.27bn and Disney at $11.84bn.

The findings come from the World TV Production Report 2016, following a study by IHS Markit, which examines how TV producers are adapting to the era of internet TV.

Netflix, which is due to file its most recent quarterly earnings report today (17 October), is actually spending more on its programming output than entire countries, including South Korea ($2.6bn) and Australia ($2.4bn).

The streaming site's most recent commission, The Crown, is believed to have cost $100m. Comprising 10 episodes the drama will delve into the life of Queen Elizabeth II. Meanwhile, series like Stranger Things and Narcos have continued to give the platform a boost this year.

“In what Netflix calls the era of internet TV, more and more consumers are watching content online, shaking the foundations of the traditional TV industry,” said Tim Westcott, senior principal analyst at IHS Technology.

“However, it’s premature to declare that the era of linear TV is already over, and Netflix and Amazon have come hard on the heels of a boom in production of original drama and comedy by the likes of AMC and FX in the US."

There were 148 new scripted shows aired by basic cable networks in the US, up from 138 the year before and 96 in 2013.

In 2016 so far, there have been 113 scripted basic cable shows, compared to 78 on the networks, 31 on premium cable, and 57 online.

To set these numbers in context: in 2012, there were three online scripted US TV shows, that number rose to 20 in 2014, and 41 in 2015.

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