Netflix to spend $3 billion on content in 2015 – but will raise debt to fund original series

The streaming service admits it cannot not compete with Amazon and Sky's "breadth" of entertainment, but commits to raising long term debt to fund original shows like House of Cards

Netflix has committed to spending more than $3 billion on film and TV shows in 2015, but admits it cannot compete with the “breadth” of content available on rival services such as Amazon.


Instead, the streaming service has stated its ambition to continue producing original series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, even if that requires raising “long term debt” to fund them.

The company set out its ‘Long Term View’ in a document posted on their corporate website. In the document it argues that the traditional “linear TV model is ripe for replacement” by “Internet TV”.

Netflix said it was committed to spending over $3 billion on content for its members this year, but explained that it could not compete with rivals such as Sky, Amazon and Apple in terms of the amount of content it is able to offer.

“We don’t and can’t compete on breadth of entertainment with Comcast, Sky, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or Google,” it said. “For us to be hugely successful we have to be a focused passion brand. Starbucks, not 7-Eleven. Southwest, not United. HBO, not Dish.”

The company also recognised the importance of its original series, like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, but added, “The expansion of original content will consume cash. Since we are otherwise using domestic profits to fund international markets, we intend to raise long term debt as needed to fund the growth of original content.”

Netflix is currently working on a number of original comic series with Marvel Studios, one of which will star Broadchurch actor David Tennant.

Amazon too is investing heavily in its original content. As well as the Golden Globe-winning comedy Transparent, the company has recently announced five new original series, including Nazi alternative history drama The Man In the High Castle.

US broadcast HBO has also revealed plans to launch a streaming service later this year.


Netflix also said it aimed to expand rapidly into new global markets, saying, “Today our offering is only in about 50 nations. By the end of 2016 we intend to be available pretty much everywhere in world.”