Advanced Television

Analysis: International commissions key for Netflix growth

August 15, 2022

Netflix beat its own record by commissioning new Original first-run TV or movie content from 28 different markets in the second quarter of 2022, according to a report by Ampere Analysis. This reflects the increasing importance of the international audience to the company’s continued growth.

Netflix has commissioned new content from 44 territories since the start of 2020, putting it way ahead of rivals. Warner Bros Discovery’s SVoD platforms (HBO Max and Discovery+) managed content from 27 territories over the period, Disney 23 and former key rival Prime VIdeo 21.

Ampere’s report states that international diversity gives Netflix a two-pronged path to growth. Firstly, by opening up new markets with the offer of localised Originals to entice new subscribers. Secondly, by presenting a key point of difference to rivals in the US and globally through the availability of a truly international array of content.

“At a time where Netflix is feeling the pinch of successive quarterly subscriber losses, a recommitment to an international strategy allows the company to exploit one area where it still possesses an inherent advantage over studio-backed rivals. Disney+ or HBO Max may well make the next Stranger Things or The Witcher but are yet to show themselves capable of the next Money Heist or Squid Game.”

Netflix’s international commissions have now outranked home-grown content for seven straight quarters. And the pressure is on for this strategy to succeed, given the context of increased competition in the US. Netflix commissioned 22 more US Originals in H1 2022 than in H1 2019, however this accounted for 27 per cent of total SVoD commissions in the US, compared to 46 per cent in H1 2019.

“It’s in the context of intense competition at home that Netflix’s refocus on international Originals makes the most sense,” advises Black. “Since the start of 2020, the streaming giant has commissioned 664 American first-run TV or movie originals. That’s still 50 per cent more than the combined effort of Discovery+ and HBO Max, twice as many as Disney+ and Hulu could muster, and three times more than Amazon. However, internationally Netflix commissioned 814 titles over the same period – 2.3 times as many as Amazon, 2.4 times as many as Warner Bros Discovery, and three times as many as Disney’s suite of international streaming services. In fact, Netflix has commissioned more non-US originals over the period than its key rivals combined. Opening up new markets for Originals and doubling down on the content from its most successful will be key to Netflix finding subscriber growth again,” he concludes.


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