Great (paywall) piece from @theinformation on Netflix becoming more "budget conscious" and "efficiency" focused.
Some thoughts below, but basically this is a natural maturation of Netflix's needs, rather than just its age or "Hollywoodification"
For many years, Netflix’s primary concern was only solving for volume. Like a new pharmaceutical company, it could start a pipeline of development but everything was years from release.
As a result, it couldn’t be too selective on what was ordered/renewed to meet volume needs
Which is why we saw/still see Netflix bring back old shows (Arrested Development), take over cancelled ones (Designated Survivor), pickup those dropped by another network in development (Locke & Key), and rely heavily on packaged, ready-to-go shows (agencies super helpful here)
But as you build a pipeline, make talent deals (Shonda! Ryan! Barris!) and grow output, you start to have real alternatives and important trade-offs to make with each greenlight. It's not what you can get, it's what you choose to make - which informs what you don't.
And by nature of the fact their spending has grown, the value of very small percentage differences in efficiency has become enormous. 10% of Netflix's cash spend in 2019 is 40% of its 2014 spend.
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