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Netflix: The Monster That’s Eating Hollywood

Joe Flint and Shalini Ramachandran, reporting for The Wall Street Journal:

It is expanding into new genres such as children’s fare, reality TV and stand-up comedy specials — including a $40 million deal for two shows by Chris Rock. The shift has unnerved some TV networks that had become used to Netflix’s original content being focused on scripted dramas and sitcoms.

Netflix’s spending on original and acquired programming this year is expected to be more than $6 billion, up from $5 billion last year, more than double what Time Warner Inc.’s HBO spends and five times as much as 21st Century Fox’s FX or CBS Corp.’s Showtime. It spent close to $10 million an episode on “The Crown,” a lavish period drama about a young Queen Elizabeth II.

Its shock-and-awe spending — combined with that of Amazon and other new players — is driving up costs industrywide and creating a scarcity of people and equipment.

TV network executives five years ago: This is great, we found someone willing to pay us for our back catalog of old crappy TV shows.

TV network executives today: Nobody could’ve seen this coming, this is terrible.

(We just watched Dave Chappelle’s two new stand-up specials for Netflix over the weekend. Fucking hilarious — highly recommended.)

Monday, 27 March 2017