Netflix to increase European production by a third in 2019


Netflix is set to increase the number of European titles it produces by a third in 2019, according to the Financial Times.

Erik Barmack, Netflix’s VP of international originals, revealed to the publisher that the streamer will take on 221 projects in the new year, including 153 originals.

Netflix is already on track to deliver 141 projects that it had committed to for 2018. These will consist of 81 original productions and 60 co-productions or programmes licensed from other producers.

In May, the streamer announced that it would spend €1bn on European content for the first time, with a range of titles from the UK, Germany, France and more.

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, confirmed that this was initially in large part to meet European content quotas set by the European Commission, which will ask streamers that at least 30% of their content is of European origin.

Just this week, the streamer announced that it would develop Criminal, a new format-bending procedural series that comprises of 12 unique stories set in four different countries: France, Spain, Germany and the UK. The streamer will also develop 16 titles based on characters from British children’s writer Roald Dahl, after striking a major deal with his estate.

During the Content London conference, held in the UK, the streamer also set new original series for Sweden, France, Germany, Spain and the UK, including a Wallander prequel produced by Yellow Bird UK.

“A year ago we had one or two shows in Spain, next year we will have six or seven,” said Barmack. “We are ramping towards 10 to 12 in each country . . . it could be more in particular markets.”

The move arrives shortly after the UK’s media watchdog, Ofcom, urged the nation’s public service broadcasters to collaborate on a jointly-owned streaming service and showcase the best of British programming to compete with the global growth of Netflix.

During the Out of the Box conference in London, Sharon White, chief executive at Ofcom, said: “Each of the big broadcasters operates an on-demand service, such as the BBC with its iPlayer. A common platform could combine the pulling power of Broadchurch, Blue Planet and Bake Off.”

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