Netflix Turns to Original Series and Licensing 5-Star Content

According to Netflix CFO David Wells, the streaming service plans on spending $3.2 billion on streaming content in 2014. Netflix acknowledged that a large fraction of the currently available material is not necessarily popular with its audience and plans to spend more money on shows with higher potential. A content shift through the next few quarters toward more original series along with licensing exclusive and higher-rated shows will account for this extra spending.

Earlier this month, Netflix increased prices of its standard plan by $1 for new subscribers. With this increase in revenue, the service plans to increase its amount and quality of content.

“Our intent is to continue to expand the content library meaningfully,” said Wells at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

Netflix reportedly streamed five billion more hours of video globally in the first quarter of 2014 than it did in its previous quarter. Wells argues that this increase “is indicative that we are not just substituting content.”

At the same time, Wells confirmed that although speculated, Netflix did not bid for HBO streaming content rights.

“Last month HBO entered into a multiyear pact with Amazon.com, which analysts pegged as worth at least $200 million, for exclusive subscription VOD rights to past seasons of the premium cabler’s originals like ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire,'” reports Variety.

“Also at the conference, Wells reiterated that Netflix is concerned that Comcast’s pending $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable will concentrate too much control over U.S. broadband with one company,” notes the article. “Netflix earlier this year agreed to pay Comcast — reluctantly, the streamer said — to interconnect directly with the MSO’s networks.”

Netflix will also continue to lobby the FCC regarding net neutrality. “Our interest is in a definition of net neutrality… that encompasses all things that affect delivery to a consumer,” he said.

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