Netflix Is Projected to Spend the GDP of a Small Country on Content in 2020

The streaming giant is aiming for world domination in the wake of new competitors like Disney+ launching their own platforms.
Chicago, US
January 16, 2020, 10:10pm

Netflix is apparently spending an unfathomable amount of money on programming in 2020. As Variety points out, a new report from Wall Street research firm BMO Capital Markets is predicting the streaming giant will invest $17.3 billion in content this year—an increase from their estimated 2019 total of $15 billion.

To put those numbers into context, that budget roughly equals the entire GDP of countries like North Korea, Botswana, and Mali. In simple terms: Wow, that's a shit-ton of money!


The industry insiders' projection comes just days after news that Netflix originals racked up an astounding 24 nominations at the 2020 Oscars for movies like The Irishman and Marriage Story, more than any other major Hollywood studio or distributor. On top of the critical adulation, the platform is just enormously popular. In December, a Cowen & Co. survey found that Netflix is the top platform for consumers watching television, surpassing basic cable and YouTube. That's insane!

Compared to its competitors, Netflix is also above and beyond outspending them. With the newly launched Disney+ and AppleTV+, Disney has said it will spend $1 billion on original programming in 2020 while the latter has committed to $6 billion. Others like the forthcoming HBO Max and NBC's Peacock streamers are set to spend about $2 billion each. Meanwhile, larger competitors like Amazon drop around $6 billion on their content budget, and Hulu comes in at $2.5 billion.

As another example just how big its wallet is, Netflix's recently launched $200 million multi-year deal with Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff is $80 million more than Disney+ spent on its flagship Star Wars show The Mandalorian.

Is this all sustainable? Who knows! But this Wall Street guy seems to think so, which has historically boded well. "We continue to believe the ‘streaming wars’ narrative is false and there will be multiple winners in global streaming,” BMO’s Dan Salmon wrote in his company's report. In fact, it even predicted that Netflix will spend, by 2028, about $26 billion on programming. Great—that's more than the GDP of Iceland and Honduras!

Next time your favorite Netflix show gets cancelled, like Mindhunter or Tuca & Bertie, just remember how much money the streaming giant is spending on other things instead. Rude.