Original content is the future for streaming video services. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon may have started their lives streaming licensed content, but today, their most popular content is content they create themselves. Amazon crowdsources what they make, while Netflix and Hulu create large amounts of content. No one can argue that Netflix in particular loves original content, and viewers love Netflix's original content.
Between series like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things to partnership programs like Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage and a large variety of stand-up specials, original content is all over Netflix. In 2016, the company is releasing 600 hours of original content, up from 450 in 2015. The spending of $5 billion is expected to jump to $6 billion next year. This, however, is just the beginning.
In the next few years, Netflix is planning to expand their original content to cover 50 percent of all content available on the network. This could mean one of two things: either Netflix is going to dramatically decrease the amount of content they license, or they will dramatically increase the amount of content they will produce. Based on what we have seen so far from Netflix, it is likely that they will scale back slightly on licensed content and scale up greatly on original content.
An increase in Marvel content and comedy specials, plus a focus on successful projects, like Stranger Things, could direct the company's development, for better or worse. If the company continues to produce content at the high quality that their previous and current content is produced, then this move will certainly succeed. In fact, with this kind of move, it could put Netflix far above its competitors and could possibly even do damage to the broadcast networks.
A timetable for this development increase has not been discussed, but if Netflix wants to flex its muscle in the market, a faster deployment would accomplish that goal. Hopefully this will not lead to another price increase, however, but it is always a possibility.