Netflix's Aggressive Content Strategy Is Working — At Least For Now

The streaming company plans to have around 700 original programs on its platform by the end of 2018.
Posted at 5:50 PM, Apr 12, 2018

How much Netflix is too much? By the end of 2018, the company plans to have around 700 original projects on its platform.

Some of those original projects may come from heavy-hitting producers like Ryan Murphy or Shonda Rhimes, both of whom have signed major exclusive deals with Netflix. The Hollywood Reporter says producer Kenya Barris, who created the hit ABC sitcom "Blackish," may be next to move from broadcast to Netflix.

News like this reflects Netflix's aggressive content strategy — one that's focused on releasing as many programs as possible to drive growth. It's an ambitious plan, even for a global entertainment company, but it seems to be working — at least for now. 

Media analyst Barton Crockett told CNBC, "I think there's risks that they can't keep doing the incredible things they keep doing in perpetuity. 

The glut of Netflix originals is adding to what many in the industry are calling "peak TV." Back in 2015, the head of FX Networks said "peak TV" would overwhelm audiences and make it harder for showrunners to create compelling content.

For content creators, this means Netflix's business strategy can be both a blessing and a hurdle. That's because the streaming company is willing and able to give content creators more freedom in their work, but it may not be as willing to let those shows thrive.

Because Netflix doesn't share its viewership data, producers don't actually know how many people are tuning in to watch. Jenji Kohan, who created the critically acclaimed series "Orange Is the New Black," once told Quartz this makes it difficult to negotiate with the streaming company later on.

And sometimes there are no more episodes later on. In the past couple years, Netflix has become more merciless with its ax, and shows like "The Get Down," "Girlboss" and, most recently, "Everything Sucks" have been canceled after just one season.