Now we know why online streaming companies are not pumping out so much original content, as it has been revealed that Netflix are paying a ball breaking $4 million per episode for online shows.
The news was broken by CAA TV literary agent, Peter Micelli who was talking during a panel discussion at the annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium for showbiz lawyers, and he let slip that the cheapest episode was coming in at $3.8 million.
The big budget show just released that Netflix are pinning their hopes on, House of Cards was said to have been budgeted at $4.5 million, although creator David Fincher had taken it, ”way above that”. He also said of Netflix’s original content, “They are huge budgets shows,” and that Netflix are, “Doing things in a huge way.”
Others original shows such as fright-fest Hemlock Grove costs around $4 million an episode, while Orange Is The New Black is just under $4 million as well. When compared to cable companies, Netflix are paying more than many hit shows such as Mad Men, which comes in at around $3 million per episode.
Micelli also said that the shows made for Netflix cover the globe and they get exclusive control for each series for 4 years before re-selling them. Speaking about other platforms producing original web content, he said that while Microsoft can compete with Netflix, Amazon Studios are not in the same league, just spending a mere? $1 million for each episode.
Netflix are banking on the fact that they know the exact metrics (number of viewers, time watched, age, number of episodes in one sitting, etc.) which results in high ad dollars earned. Online content can (so long as it’s good), also become viral by word of mouth using social networking websites. Let’s hope the gamble pays off, because at these prices a turkey could well wipe them out.