Netflix, the streaming giant, is shifting its strategy from producing a high quantity of content to a more balanced approach that emphasizes quality and profitability. This change comes as Netflix aims to make a return on its advertising investments. Last week, Netflix announced layoffs as part of restructuring its film divisions, combining smaller units to ensure the production of higher-quality titles. Netflix’s Chief of Film, Scott Stuber, stated that the goal is to have fewer films but maintain a high level of quality.
In the early days, Netflix’s appeal was its extensive library of content, including the convenience of DVD rentals by mail. However, as the streaming industry evolved, Netflix moved towards a quantity-driven strategy to attract and retain subscribers. During the pandemic, this approach continued, with a vast array of content options offered to a captive audience. While this led to some unexpected hits, the company is now shifting its focus to ensure profitability.
Netflix is not entirely reducing its content output. Stuber mentioned plans to release at least 28 films across various divisions, including big studios, mid-budget, and indie categories. However, it’s likely that this number will decrease in the future as Netflix becomes more selective in greenlighting projects.
The initial goal of Netflix Originals was to create prestige dramas and premium shows to compete with HBO. This strategy evolved to include Oscar-winning films, such as “Roma” and “The Power of the Dog.” Netflix recently received Oscars for its remake of “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
With a reduced film production output and a focus on quality, Netflix may allocate remaining funds toward advertising. The company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Marian Lee, revealed that Netflix’s social media accounts have a combined global audience of around 800 million people. This presents a significant opportunity for advertising.
In 2022, Netflix’s marketing budget reached $2.5 billion, and its ad-supported tier, launched in November, is growing. Lee is exploring nontraditional marketing strategies, including themed escape rooms, TikTok campaigns, and partnerships with popular characters. This shift in advertising may help Netflix reach a broader audience and further boost profitability.