Netflix is Preparing to Invest £400m on British-Made Content

By Shabana Arif on at

Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, has shared the streaming platform's plans to fend off competition from the likes of Apple TV+ and Disney+, and securing British talent is a big part o it.

An investment of £400m is being made to produce over 50 films and TV series in the UK this year, making for the largest production budget outside of US-based content.

Based on what Hastings was saying at the Royal Television Society last week (via The Guardian), it sounds like Netflix wants to spend that budget on securing talent by shoring up exclusive deals that will have them tied to the platform for however long.

The Crown's Peter Morgan, and Black Mirror's Charlie Brooker are rumoured to be in negotiations with Netflix, but when asked about whether Killing Eve's Phoebe Waller-Bridge is someone Netflix has its eye on, Hatings said he didn't know.

He did say that this new surge of competition would see the cost of programming increase, adding that The Crown's reported £100m budget "will look like a bargain” some day, given that need to "raise the bid to hold on to great content".

The Royle Family's former producer, and chief executive of Big Talk Productions, Kenton Allen, said there were pros and cons to Netflix's investment.

"There’s an arms race on talent; they are doing some direct deals with writers so that takes those writers out of the market, so that’s a negative – you lose someone like Charlie Brooker.

"It’s a US showrunner model and UK writers are not on the whole showrunners, they need producers. Where does that put the British producer? Out of the picture frankly. But it’s a mixed ecology so we can still talk to them about other things and we will be finding new talent."

So it's not all sunshine and rainbows if you're in the industry, and if you're a consumer, it's not going to fantastic either, with more streaming platforms and exclusive deals translating to more subscription costs coming out of your pocket each month.

Apple TV+ is set to launch on November 1, while Disney hasn't given a date for its UK launch, but will be rolling out in the US and Canada next month following its soft launch this month in the Netherlands.