Right now, it looks like Netflix is at the top of the world. Seemingly everyone you know has an account, or is at least bumming it off their friend or parents. The streaming service has several shows pulling for Emmys this year, again, more than any of its competitors do.
“Let’s talk about ratings,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix, during an executive session for the company at TCA today, Deadline reports. Now, as a preface, to most traditional networks like NBC, CBS, and ABC, ratings are absolutely everything. There are tons of people on the payroll whose sole job it is to wait upon Nielsen-types to collect viewership numbers for each and every show. Ratings, on traditional networks, drive everything; if a show has significantly low ratings, it is likely dead. High ratings, the opposite. That’s the world television used to only know.
Now, Netflix has completely changed up the game for good. ““Subscriber growth, not ratings drives our revenue,” said Sarandos, but of course, that begs the question; if subscribers haven’t grown, despite the streaming service’s introduction to parts of the world that never had it before, that cannot mean good news for Netflix at all.
Sarandos shakes this off, however, saying that while, yes, that second quarter showed meager growth, the first quarter grew so much that it overshadowed the famished second by a mile.
To progress that supposed growth, Sarandos promises that there is only going to be more and more original content going forward. Joining Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones–which the CCO claims are the most-watched programs in the library–Netflix is going to financing forty more new series by the end of 2016. That list includes Beat Bugs, which is an animated series set to the tune of the Beatles music, and much more.
Stranger Things, a remake of the 1980’s series, has already proved that Netflix original programming is putting the company even further on the rise, Sarandos pointed out today. Though fresh to the stream, the show has already created a strong following and landed the eyes and ears of major news outlets that are calling it a breakout show.
It’s a hint of more to come, apparently. Shows that push the label and do things unique, maybe even dark, that catch the public’s attention–well, that’s essentially the Netflix playbook. Said Sarandos, “There are too many mediocre safe shows on television. We vote to keep the bar high and keep them coming.” He admits that his company isn’t always perfect though. “We’ve got a few [mediocre shows] too.”
Netflix is going to be spending about $6 billion this year to make this vision of new and label-pushing happen. And while Sarandos and the rest of the company doesn’t seem fazed by the second quarter subscriber shrinkage, maybe, if it continues, that will come to a head with this money-flushed vision of the future for the streaming giant.