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Netflix Devotes One-Third Of Content Budget To Global Titles

Fern Siegel

Netflix’s global subscribers comprise the majority of users — over 60 percent of overall subscribers. And it is international markets that propel growth for the platform.

To sustain that metric, Netflix has upped investment in international content, according to Ampere Analysis.

Netflix has consistently increased its budget to support original content, in addition to acquisitions. But the percentage tell its own story. Ampere estimates that in 2019, Netflix spent $2.8 billion on original content, of which $880 million — just over 30% — was spent on international originals.

That’s a strategic decision that has worked. A larger library ensures that content remains even if licensed content disappears, especially in the wake of the pandemic and production shutdowns. Plus, many global acquisitions, such as “Babylon Berlin,” “Fauda,” “Unorthodox,” “Money Heist” and “Roma,” have been winners for Netflix.

As more audiences get acclimated to watching foreign fare, the content investment rises.

In fact, global content now accounts for 59 percent of Netflix’s upcoming TV series and 40 percent of movies, per Ampere. The largest markets include the UK and Canada, but there are hit shows from Spain, Germany and Israel, well.

As for future shows, there are 10 series from France, 10 from India and nine from South Korea that are slated.

Apple TV+ is also moving into the global realm. Apple TV+ has acquired two Israeli series. Its first co-production is a spy thriller, “Tehran,” written by Moshe Zonder (“Fauda”). Debuting Sept. 25, it is the streamer’s first non-English content. The show is in Hebrew and Farsi, and a second season is expected. Apple TV also added “Losing Alice,” another Israeli thriller, that is expected some time this year.

Other streamers have capitalized on global popularity: HBO Max acquired “Gomorrah” from Italy, while a German-American co-production, “Deutschland 83,” streams on Hulu. Iceland’s “Trapped” is clicking on Amazon Prime Video.

Separately, Netflix users may see a price hike next year.

Jefferies analyst Brent Thill believes the platform may add $500 million to $1 billion in extra sales by upping subscription prices in major markets from $1 to $2, reports Yahoo Finance. The streamer’s last price hike was in 2019, when basic rose from $8 to $9, standard $11 to $13 and premium $14 to $16.