Are Netflix Really Releasing 700 New Originals This Year? Let’s Check The Facts…

We’ve seen a number of news reports these last few days claiming that Netflix will be adding 700 new Originals throughout 2018. Here are a few headlines and quotes:

Netflix plans a staggering 700 original series and movies for 2018
…about 700 original TV shows, movies, and specials scheduled to debut this year…
Digital Trends

Is Netflix’s plan to release 700 shows Peak TV at its most cynical?
Seven hundred new pieces of content, ranging from standup specials to foreign imports to TV shows to films.
The Guardian

Netflix plans to spend $8 billion on 700 original TV series and movies in 2018
Netflix plans to add around 700 original movies and TV series to its line-up this year

Netflix has 700, yes 700, originals coming out in 2018. What?
…will spend around $8 billion on original content this year, which totals to about 700 original shows.
Mashable UK

How Netflix is about to become a victim of its own success
In 2018, Netflix will deliver around 700 TV shows at a cost of $8 billion… …Dropping 700 shows in a single year is extraordinary…
Digital Spy

Netflix is Set to Release a Total of 700 Original Movies and TV Shows This Year Alone
Netflix is adding a whopping 700 original movies and TV series to its service in 2018. You heard that right.

By the looks of these articles you’d think Netflix were adding 700 Original shows and movies this year – that’s more than 2 per day on average! The Guardian and techradar joined in too so it must be true, right? Well let’s see.

Most of the articles quote or reference the original Variety piece who reported Netflix CFO David Wells’ talk at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. He said:

Netflix will have in the neighborhood of 700 original TV shows on the service worldwide this year

That doesn’t say 700 new Original TV shows, just that by the end of the year there will be 700. Across the globe. We’ve previously written about just what constitutes a ‘Netflix Original’ but in a nutshell it can either be something made by Netflix themselves or something Netflix have exclusive streaming rights to in at least one country. For example “Star Trek: Discovery” is classed as a Netflix Original outside of America and Canada. Some BBC and Channel 4 series are classed as Originals in other countries too.

In the UK there are currently over 270 Netflix Original Series. That’s a third of the way to the 700 that will be available worldwide by the end of this year. Add to that the other Originals (and ‘exclusives’) from the other 190 countries that Netflix is available in, the 120+ Original Stand-Up comedy Specials that are currently available and the existing 140+ Original Movies. There are also over 80 Original Movies planned for release this year – suddenly 700 Originals isn’t as crazy as it first sounds. Update: As of 15th March 2018 there are 575 Netflix Originals (TV, movies, documentaries and stand-up comedy) on Netflix UK and 582 on Netflix USA.

So, are Netflix spending $8bn on 700 new Originals for this year? Absolutely not! What they are doing is spending $8bn on new Original content so by the end of the year there will be around 700 Original titles available around the world. In real terms this will likely be about 120-150 new Originals this year – many of which will be exclusive distributions of existing shows from other networks around the world. That’s around 2-3 new Originals per week – a figure we’ve seen regularly in recent months.

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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