Netflix took some financial hits when their high-cost series The Get Down and Marco Polo resulted in cancellation. However, the streaming service doesn’t seem discouraged. Recently, CEO Reed Hastings spoke with CNBC about the future of the streaming platform.
Both The Get Down, a musical drama about the birth of hip hop in New York City, and the historical drama Marco Polo were two of Netflix’s highest-budget series. In fact, according to Vanity Fair, The Get Down cost the streaming service around $120 million.
Speaking to CNBC’s Julia Boorstin and Carl Quintanilla, Hastings said the failure of big budget shows like The Get Down and Marco Polo will not stop Netflix from developing more costly original series:
No, it is going big budget, for sure. Because as we get a bigger distribution, we can afford more spectacular entertainment. We have a German series, “dark,” that is coming out in a few months. That is science fiction and very, I think, will be a big global winner. Of course, “3%” out of Brazil has been very popular around the world. So, we are doing a number of shows outside of Hollywood and we’re doing a lot of shows inside of the Hollywood system.”
Hastings also said Netflix will continue to take risks on new material:
Well, you can tell when we cancel a show. So, I’m always pushing the content team, we have to take more risk, you have to try more crazy things, because we should have a higher cancel rate overall. Because then, what you get is you get some winners that are just unbelievable winners like “13 Reasons Why” over the last three months has been a big hit for us. And you know, it surprised us too. I mean, it was a great show, but we didn’t realize just how it would catch on.”
What do you think? Did you see The Get Down and Marco Polo? Do you think Netflix should keep taking risks on big budget projects?