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Netflix aims for half-original content line-up

NARCOS_109_02194R.jpgNetflix aims to move to a 50-50 split between licensed and original content, according to the company’s chief finance officer, David Wells.

Speaking at Goldman Sachs’ 25th Annual Communacopia Conference in New York yesterday, Wells said that the subscription video-on-demand giant will be “pushing more and more” towards its goal of half original exclusive content.

“It will take us another couple of years to meaningfully progress more towards the 50% number that I said. I’d say we are third to half way through of getting to where we like to be,” said Wells.

He claimed that the company has been on a “multi-year transition” with original content a means to differentiate Netflix’s content offering, particularly in highly-penetrated markets with other over-the-top alternatives.

Wells added not every show had to hit a “home run”, as Netflix can build audiences over time, and said that data is important to help determine the size of audience for a piece of content and inform budget decisions.

“There is no excuse and there is no substitute for great creative content execution,” said Wells stressing that data is important for matching viewers to content, not necessarily for the production of that content.

“We are not at a point yet where a human machine can make content for a human being and have it be great. Maybe in our lifetime we will get there, but we are not there yet.”

Discussing the global success of Narcos, a Columbian-set Netflix original about drug lord Pablo Escobar, which is primarily in Spanish language, Wells said: “I think what we are learning primarily is that people really will go out of their way to consume great stories.”

”It doesn’t really matter what native language they are originated in. For us, we want to find content that has a large audience and if the large audience doesn’t necessarily mean English speaking it could mean Spanish speaking, it could mean French speaking.”