Netflix to Expand Into Original Movies, Will Double Spending on Originals in 2014



Netflix, pleased with how original series like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards are boosting its business, expects to double its investment in original content in 2014 — and it’s putting movies into the pipeline.

Meanwhile, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he’s “hopeful” that the company will land deals with Comcast and other pay TV providers to widen the distribution of the service, which now has 31.1 million U.S. customers.

The company is looking at expanding into movies, and is currently actively looking at several documentaries that would premiere on Netflix, chief content officer Ted Sarandos said on the company’s third quarter earnings call.

Overall, Netflix’s spending on original content next year will still represent less than 10% of overall global content spending. "About 40% of HBO’s spending is on originals," Sarandos said, “so there’s a big gap from where we are to where we could be.”

Netflix is “more comfortable” with owning content outright than in the past, but the primary goal remains controlling the window, whether that’s through owning a property or licensing it from a studio, Sarandos said.

The company said Orange is the New Black will end the year as its most-watched original series ever. As with its other originals, such as House of Cards, the company said the total audience is on par with “successful shows on cable and broadcast TV” although Netflix does not disclose specific viewing metrics.

Shows expected to bow on Netflix in 2014 include Sense 8 from Matrix creators the Wachowskis, new shows produced by DreamWorks Animation and a new thriller from the creators of Damages in a deal with Sony Pictures Television.

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