The introduction of streaming media has changed the way that we watch everything from movies to television. The various options, like Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix, all have their benefits, but when it comes to original programming, Netflix takes a clear lead. Not only is Netflix focusing on original programming, but they're focusing on well produced, high-quality and high-budget original programming.
Netflix is amping up to have a banner year of expansion to their line-up in 2016. The streaming giant is going to product 31 scripted series, 30 children's series, 10 feature films, and a slew of documentaries and stand-up comedy specials.
Netflix has been slowly increasing its amount of original programming with critically acclaimed series like Orange Is The New Black, House of Cards, Lilyhammer, and Narcos. In fact, this past year they produced a total of 16 different scripted series, a number they're looking to increase to 31 in 2016, according to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in a recent interview with Wired:
“This is high quality stuff. This is programming people want to watch.”
Another major player that is helping Netflix to grow by leaps and bounds is without a doubt the multiple Netflix series based on Marvel Comics heroes. Netflix has found great success with their adaptations of Daredevil and Jessica Jones and will no doubt continue the trend with the upcoming Luke Cage and Iron Fist series as well as the Defenders mini-series (not to mention the second season of Daredevil).
These types of shows bring in a lot of attention and viewership to the streaming network, but the international distribution rights become complicated, so originally-developed programming is what Netflix is looking more towards expanding in the future. Netflix would like to increase the number of countries it can be viewed in from 80 to 200 by the end of 2016. To do that, they need to own the rights to more of the series that they're airing. The streaming service has been moving towards more internationally appealing programming with series like Narcos, which was filmed primarily in Spanish. U.S. holiday special A Very Murray Christmas, with Bill Murray, has surprisingly found a larger audience in Japan. This really shows Netflix that the global market is ready to share in more programming.
Netflix has been pumping a lot of money into these projects and they clearly know what they're doing, since their stock prices continue to be on the rise. In fact, the network has defied the odds by enjoying a stock price rise of nearly 40% when the overall NASDAQ gains are only in the realm of 7%. The competition is working on expanding, as well. Hulu is now offering ad-free streaming services and YouTube is now opening their wallet to purchase television shows and movies. Amazon Prime has been developing original programming too, but with less success than the competition, with the exception of the Amazon Golden Globe winning series Transparent.
That said: if the Netflix expansion continues to prove to be lucrative, fans will be able to keep their binge watching habits going well into the future.