The Netflix CEO and founder Reed Hastings wrote to shareholders this week about international growth and updated investors too about content plans:
We have grown to over 69 million members around the world and expect to end this year with over 74 million members. With a successful launch in Japan, and our launches next week in Spain, Italy and Portugal, we remain on track to become global by the end of 2016.
As our membership expands, we are quickly becoming a global distribution platform for creators worldwide. Narcos, our latest original series, is a hit and is another fine example of a Netflix original – embraced by both critics and audiences and global in nature (bilingual, Brazilian director and star, US and Latin American cast, shot in Colombia) with substantial viewing across all our territories.
This past quarter, we also unveiled our first locally-produced original series, Club de Cuervos, which played strongly not just in its home country of Mexico but with Spanish speakers around the world, including the US. We are currently in production on our second Mexican original series, Ingobernable, starring Latin American TV superstar, Kate del Castillo, and the French produced Marseille.
We have also announced original series productions in Brazil and Italy.
We will launch our first original feature film Beasts of No Nation on Netflix on October 16. This gripping war drama featuring Idris Elba and Abraham Attah has received universal critical acclaim and is an early Oscar hopeful. Attah won the prestigious Marcello Mastroianni Award at the Venice Film Festival recognising him as the best newcomer.
We’re also excited to release the first of four films from Adam Sandler, The Ridiculous Six, in December. This release comes on the heels of Sandler’s global success with Pixels ($240m worldwide box office) and the currently hot Hotel Transylvania 2 (already grossing over $200m worldwide box office and yet to be released in many of the larger foreign markets).
Just three years into our originals strategy, we have come a long way and our content is increasingly recognised for its quality and breadth.
This year, we garnered a Netflix-record 34 Emmy nominations, across 11 of our original series and documentaries and won four. Netflix and HBO were the only networks to have three shows competing for best series honours this year. HBO had an amazing year at the Emmys, but we have only just begun. In addition, Common Sense Media recently named six of our original series among the 25 best showson TV for families with kids from age 2-17.
It is clear that Internet TV is becoming increasingly mainstream and traditional media companies are adjusting to the shift from linear to on demand viewing. It is a great time to be a creator of content because studios make content to sell content (not to withhold it) and there are new bidders for their product. Some studios will choose to license content to SVOD services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix. Others may not. We have a lot of content to select from.
We recently announced that we have acquired global second window rights to four major series. These areHow to Get Away with Murder, ABC’s highest-rating new series from the 2014/2015 TV season, the eagerly anticipated Colony from Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions and, from CBS, Zoo, the most-watched scripted US summer series of 2015 and the critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated and Golden Globe winning Jane the Virgin. These deals will ensure that audiences around the world will have access to these exciting series on Netflix.
We are investing in high profile, exclusive and globally available original films and creating the first-of-their-kind global Pay TV deals directly with producers. In some cases, we are making the films available globally after a 30 day theatrical and VOD window or in the case of the upcoming New Regency film The Big Short, with Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, we will offer the film globally in a more traditional Pay TV window several months after theatrical and transactional VOD, in all territories excluding France.
In September, we expanded our in-app purchase relationship with Apple by extending our partnership from Apple TV to iPhone and iPad. Now, new members around the world can sign up for Netflix in-app on the iPhone and iPad, creating a more seamless user experience.