Netflix Bolsters Content Spending with Investment of $17 bn in 2024

Netflix has announced the addition of 13.1 million subscribers during the December quarter of 2023, marking it the largest-ever fourth-quarter subscriber growth. This figure significantly surpassed the anticipated gains of 8.97 million, elevating the streaming giant’s total subscriber count to 260 million.
Netflix on televisionThe surge in video streaming subscribers was complemented by a noteworthy increase in revenue, reaching $8.8 billion during October-December 2023.

Netflix has also expressed optimism about achieving healthy double-digit revenue growth throughout 2024 as it continues to expand its membership base and invest in its advertising business. While advertising is not yet the primary driver of revenue growth, the company aims to change this dynamic by 2025, Netflix said in its earnings report .

The company attributed its remarkable performance to the strength of its intellectual property, citing the success of shows like “Squid Game: The Challenge,” a reality series based on its most-watched TV series, as well as new original content like “All the Light We Cannot See” and feature films including Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon: A Child of Fire.” Non-English-language programming, such as the third season of the French series “Lupin,” also contributed to the gains.

Netflix highlighted strong demand for licensed titles like “Young Sheldon” and acknowledged the studios’ increasing openness to licensing agreements. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos expressed enthusiasm about Netflix being “open for business” during the investor livestream, underscoring the company’s commitment to exploring new opportunities.

Bank of America’s Ehrlich noted that Netflix is capitalizing on changing market dynamics, where media companies are reassessing their strategy of exclusive content for their streaming services. This shift, described as a “win-win” proposition, allows Netflix to reduce its investment in higher-risk original production while providing revenue to other media companies through licensing deals, Reuters news report said.

Netflix emphasized growth opportunities in areas like advertising and games, citing tripled engagement in the games business. Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann outlined plans to increase content spending, anticipating an investment of up to $17 billion in 2024, following last year’s dual Hollywood strikes. Neumann emphasized a strategic and responsible approach to content investment.

The company also revealed ongoing experimentation with live programming, and on Tuesday, it announced a more than $5 billion deal with TKO Group Holdings to exclusively stream World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Raw” and other programming starting January 2025. Netflix sees this partnership as an opportunity to tap into WWE’s global fan base and expand its presence around the world.

Third Bridge analyst Jamie Lumley commended Netflix’s diversification strategy, noting that the WWE deal represents the company’s largest foray into live programming. Additionally, Netflix highlighted its first stage production, “Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” based on its popular series, underscoring its commitment to expanding its content portfolio.