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The big picture: Netflix likes to invest heavily in exclusives as the company, much like its competition, needs to carve out the biggest audience for its platform. Going forwards, it will focus more towards a quality over quantity approach for selecting big projects as a few expensive ones in recent years haven't met expectations.
A recent account by The Information tells of Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos's meeting with several senior and middle-ranking film and TV executives in which they were told to be more careful in spending money for future productions, reports Engadget.
Ted told the executives that "any upcoming projects need to bring in large numbers of viewers, and will no longer be able to float by due to being loved by critics or earning the company more credibility" while citing one of this year's exclusives, Triple Frontier, as an example. It seems that some of the 52 million watchers of the Ben Affleck-starring thriller might not have loved it all that much with Ted noting the film as a "no-go" that "cost $115 million and flopped."
Netflix tightening its finances doesn't mean it won't spend big on projects, rather that in the face of upcoming competition from the likes of Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, it will be more selective about the content it decides to green-light. After all, Netflix reportedly has $15 billion set aside for original programming this year.
With a more conscious approach towards spending, Netflix already has the experience of knowing which content clicks with its audience and now looks to go the Apple route of quality over quantity that might end up in more frequent hits and fewer misses for the platform.