Netflix will spend $17 billion on content this year as pandemic restrictions loosen and production resumes

  • Netflix expects to spend $17 billion on content in 2021, as long as restrictions continue to loosen.
  • The company said it would needs to be able to safely return to scheduled production.
  • The slate for the first half of 2021 on the platform is thin due to production delays during 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix said it will spend over $17 billion “in cash” on content this year, according to a Tuesday letter to shareholders. 

The company said that expense is contingent upon the continued vaccine roll-out around the world and the safe return to scheduled production. Netflix also said it will “continue to deliver an amazing range of titles for our members with more originals this year than last.”

The streaming giant has seen a dip in original content releases on its platform since production was delayed for much of 2020 due to pandemic safety protocols. Original Netflix programs specifically have fallen by 20% since this time last year.

Netflix cited the dip in original programs as a reason for why it saw a downturn in new subscriber growth during Q1 2021 after seeing record growth in 2020. The streaming giant added less than 4 million customers in the first few months of the year and said it will add just 1 million new paid members in Q2.

Read more: Netflix cancellations fell to their lowest level in 2 years during Q1, exclusive web-tracking data suggests

But Netflix said in its shareholder letter that it anticipates paid membership growth to “re-accelerate” in the second half of the year “with the return of new seasons of some of our biggest hits and an exciting film lineup,” including “a large number of returning franchises.”

Popular programs planned for the back half of 2021 include “Sex Education,” “The Witcher,” “You,” “The Kissing Booth” finale, “Red Notice” starring Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, and “Don’t Look Up.”

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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