Netflix’s ambitions remain very high. The company announced they want to raise an additional $1.1 billion from “non-US persons” to fund new original programming.
At the end of March 2017, Netflix’s long term debt stood at $3.37 billion. Asked why they’re specifically targeting international funders, a Netflix rep said: “Netflix is a global company and we want to have access to global capital markets. Interest rates are also currently attractive in Europe.”
At the end of last year, Netflix proclaimed it would increase its amount of original programming to 1,000 hours in 2017, including 20 new original series and 30 Netflix Original movies. The company’s earnings haven’t been affected much by the debt, reportedly drawing in $2.67 billion in revenue in Q1, in-line with expectations despite adding fewer subscribers than anticipated.
Whoever offers up the cash will likely be interested in Netflix’s distribution model for its original movies. While the company has exceeded all expectations in their five years of producing original TV series, so far their movies haven’t captured the zeitgeist.
Netflix is reportedly considering following Amazon’s model of releasing their films in cinemas before making them available on their service, or releasing them on both platforms at the same time.
However, it seems unlikely that subscribers, who fund Netflix’s original content, would be happy having to wait to see the new films, and even more unlikely that cinemas would risk losing customers to the streaming service if films were available on both platforms on the same day.
The Netflix juggernaut rolls on in terms of revenue, but long term issues might be beginning to rear their ugly head. Whoever is willing to give the streaming giant the money they crave might have to ask the tough questions.