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Thursday 21 September 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# absolute power
These are Netflix's plans for new shows and general world domination
Frank Underwood would be impressed.

NETFLIX PLANS TO produce more original content and get into the news business – but has drawn the line at sports in its bid for world video-streaming domination.

In an earnings call last night, Netflix chief content officer Theodore Sarandos said the company planned to keep growing its schedule of original programmes – both in the range and scale of the shows.

But he also flagged getting into news production to compete directly with US rival HBO and upstart Vice. He rated the chance of competing directly with Vice in the next two years as “probably high”, but nixed the notion of getting into sports.

“On the news side, I think we definitely are being more adventurous in terms of the genres that we’re going into,” he said.

We’re interested in being able to improve the viewing experience whatever kind of content people are watching. So I think in sports, sports on-demand is not as exciting as sports live, where I think everything else that we’re doing that kind of freeze the viewers from the linear schedule in ways that they enjoy and more enjoy the programming, then we could bring some value to that.”

2015 Primetime Emmy Awards - Performers Nominee Reception Chris Pizzello / AP Orange is the New Black star Taryn Manning Chris Pizzello / AP / AP

World domination

Netflix launched in Japan over the past three months and is planning further rollouts in Asia, as well as in Europe and other markets. It has also hiked prices in many regions, including a series of €1 increases in Ireland since the start of 2014.

As part of its growth plans, it has also been producing shows for specific markets, like the Japan-focussed Terrace House.

Sarandos said the programme was “doing particularly well”, while others like Narcos – filmed mainly in Spanish – was a big hit internationally.

As we continue to expand into second, third and four seasons of our original shows, what you see there is the franchise value grows dramatically,” he said.

Narcos Netflix A still from Narcos Netflix

However the company is also coming under increasing competitive pressure from services like Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, but neither has been launched in the Republic.

It added more than 3.3 million paid members in three months to boast over 69 million subscribers worldwide as it planned further launches in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Netflix1 Netflix Netflix

But some underwhelming figures, which missed Netflix’s own predictions, were enough to send a few investors running for the exit.

Netflix forecast an extra 1.2 million subscribers in the US, which accounts for almost two-thirds of its paid-up user base, but only managed 880,000.

That was still good enough to deliver a net profit of $29 million (€25.3 million) for the quarter, although the total was less than half the figure for the same time a year ago.

READ: No comment from Twitter’s Irish office as company plans to lay off 8% of global staff >

READ: Two of Ireland’s biggest tech employers are getting together in a colossal merger >

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