Netflix To Spend $1 Billion Filming Original Series In UK Next Year
Netflix will increase its spending on filming original films and shows in the UK to $1 billion (£750 million).
The entertainment industry, like much of the world, was held up earlier this year due to the current pandemic. Filming halted, release schedules shifted – for production companies and distributors alike, the calendar was up in the air.
However, if there’s a victor to be had, it’s the streaming arena. Disney+ launched early in lockdown, Amazon Prime has seen major upticks thanks to the likes of Borat 2, and Netflix continues to rule the waves with nearly 200 million subscribers worldwide. Overall, the three companies have more than 400 million subscribers.
As reported by The Guardian, Netflix has increased its UK-based budget by 50%. Last year, the streaming giant originally earmarked £400 million for production in the country, eventually adding a further £100 million to the pot.
To put that figure into context, Netflix is estimated to be spending an eye-watering $17 billion (£12.7 billion) on both production and licensing other shows and films this year. As expected, the large budget set aside for UK projects isn’t as high as its US spending.
However, out of all the streamer’s productions across Europe, around a third are made in the UK. More than 50 TV shows and films have been produced in the country in this year alone.
A spokesman for Netflix told the outlet:
The UK is an incredibly important market to Netflix and we are proud to be increasing our investment in the UK’s creative industries. The Crown, Sex Education and The Witcher are among the shows that have been made in the UK this year and will be watched by the world. These shows are a testament to the depth of talent that exists here.
This level of spending isn’t too irregular – for example, the BBC allotted £1.6 billion for its TV programming, while ITV spends around £1.1 billion each year on original content.
However, with Netflix relying on binge-watching among its subscribers, the platform requires a steady stream of shows and movies. As such, it established a production hub at Shepperton Studios – host to classics like Alien and Mary Poppins – in a 10-year-deal, kicked off with Charlize Theron’s comicbook adaptation The Old Guard.
While The Witcher‘s second season has suffered a couple of setbacks due to crew members contracting coronavirus, production is back in full swing. The next chapter of Geralt of Rivia’s story is expected to drop sometime in 2021.
High-end TV shows, costing more than £1 million an episode, is the biggest sector for growth in the UK. Between 2014 and 2019, spending tripled to £1.7 billion with around 80% coming from Netflix, Amazon and Disney.
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