Netflix plans to make 17 more original productions in Asia

November 8, 2018

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Netflix Inc plans to make 17 more original productions in Asia as it seeks to boost international subscriber numbers, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a poster of an Indian movie “Baahubali: The Beginning” outside a movie theater in New Delhi, India, April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

The plan, announced at Netflix’s content showcase event in Singapore, comes after the U.S. firm reported bumper quarterly earnings last month, driven by gains in international subscribers.

Netflix exceeded forecasts in both the U.S. and international markets, with the bulk of new subscribers coming from outside the United States where the company has been investing aggressively.

The firm has earmarked $8 billion for content this year, and has spent $6.9 billion as at the end of its third quarter.

In Asia, led by India, Netflix has won fans among a young, tech-savvy middle class, helped by a roster that includes top-grossing movie franchise Baahubali.

Chief Executive Reed Hastings has said India could deliver the service’s next 100 million subscribers.

Netflix scored a hit in India with Mumbai-based crime thriller Sacred Games. However, the Bollywood studio that produced the show disbanded last month after sexual harassment allegations against one of its partners, Vikas Bahl, and the show’s lead writer, Varun Grover. Both men have denied the allegations.

Netflix later backed the series for a second season.

At the end of September, Netflix had 137 million subscribers to its movie and TV streaming service worldwide. It began stocking its library with original films just three years ago.

(This story corrects Sacred Games details, paragraphs 7,8)

Reporting by Jonathan Weber; Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Christopher Cushing

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