Meetings of Netflix bosses to specify: “We’re not broke”

They tried to reassure the directors and agents, executives and showrunners. We still have money to spend. And the current situation will not distract us from our main mission (drum roll): to produce “buzzy” content

The funniest news these days on Variety – by now we are questioning him like the oracle, to know if and when the period of lean cows or unnecessarily fat cows will end – concerns the meetings that the great Netflix bosses have organized in Hollywood. To convince people in the trade that subscriptions have gone down, there has been a drop in the stock market, but they still have money to spend.

“We are not broke” (words of the Variety reporter), explained CEO Ted Sarandos, with Scott Stuber in charge of the film sector, and Bela Bajaria, head of “global television” (it is still called this even if the old TV remains few traces). They tried to reassure the directors and agents, executives and showrunners. We still have money to spend. And the current situation – it had never happened that shares lost value, and that subscribers were no longer so fond of them (leaving aside the threat to already paying customers to introduce restrictions on “sharing” passwords) – will not distract us from our main mission. (drum roll): produce buzzy content.

Buzzy stands for “exciting”, especially in the sense of “getting talked about” – we say “word of mouth”, which for example is still the only known way to rank the books that readers actually read. “Buzz” is what they say when an unknown film is suddenly talked about at the Cannes Film Festival – it is especially true for films bought and sold at the Marché. An excellent review, for example on Variety, and a previously unheard-of directorial debut that cost like a birthday party sees its prices soar, as the auction starts.

The message has been received, with the figures making the speech more convincing. 17 billion to spend this year, as it was in 2021 and as it probably will be for 2023. Periodic checks are part of the routine, directors and producers need not worry. Millions go away like nothing, 50 was spent on David Yates’ latest film with Emily Blunt, “Pain Hustlers”. Another 4 and a half will be the prize money for a reality show inspired by “Squid Game”.

Not at all reassured by the money spent on projects other than their own, the producers have been tightening their belts for a while. And in a few weeks they expect others “no longer interested, thanks” on projects not yet signed. Netflix was already saving money before the bad results in April. Series closed in the third season, for example: you save money and you don’t get bored. And shorter seasons: six episodes may be enough. Better not to invest too much money, if there is a risk that the subscriber will switch to the competition.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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