The number of original scripted TV shows has about doubled since 2010, to more than 430 series this year, industry research from FX Networks show. Over the same period, the cost of filming and promoting the typical episode has climbed 20 percent, to more than $4 million an hour, as competition for actors, studio space and audience has intensified.
Broadcast and basic-cable networks drove the new-show surge, but Web outlets’ rapid-fire debut of high-profile franchises egged them on. In 2010, online streamers aired four original series. In the first-half of this year, they aired 49.
Streaming’s biggest behemoths, Netflix and Amazon, have more than doubled their yearly spending on original programming since 2013, to $7.5 billion last year, more money than the film industries of entire countries, including Australia and South Korea, data from investment researcher IHS Markit show.
Those companies are spending “shock-and-awe levels of money,” as one cable executive said, in hopes that viewers will abandon old-school TV and embrace their Web-first universe. Netflix says it will produce 1,000 hours of original programming next year, up from 600 hours this year.
“Hollywood is overwhelmed” means there’s lots of demand for TV production resources and some think it is “unsustainable”. Mentioned for:
- Data point on huge size of part of the proprietary entertainment industry; why are we letting key values evaporate to protect and promote this expensive spectacle that we have more than enough of? The article also briefly mentions subsides as “financial catnip”.
- Data point on relative cost per hour (see other brief mentions in 1 2).
- Emphasis on striving to be a big winner among mostly losers.
- Data point on failure of piracy (and hardly worth mentioning, of commons-based production) to temper investor or consumer addiction to proprietary content.