Netflix has churned out large volumes of original programming, and its arch rival, HBO, also plans to roll out 600 hours of original programming, thus intensifying the competition.
HBO matching Netflix in original content
The TV landscape is changing at a rapid pace, and Netflix’s subscriber growth is on the rise. HBO is obviously not blind to these happenings and thus has planned to react by increasing its original programming hours, says a report from The Motley Fool, which cites information shared by Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes during a recent conference.
Though this will obviously lead to an increase in the company’s budget, Bewkes did not say by how much, the report said. Last year, the company allocated about $2 billion to total programming, and nearly half of it went to originals.
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On the other hand, Netflix’s total content budget is $6 billion, but what percentage of it is devoted to original programming is not known. The company has 30 in-house shows planned this year, including big budget thrillers like Marco Polo. So it seems a substantial portion of the budget will go to Netflix’s own shows.
Netflix is very obsessed with original content, and it is evident from the fact that it promised to deliver 600 hours of original programming in 2016, which is a 90% increase from the amount of original programming it rolled out in 2014. This clearly shows that Netflix is aiming at supplanting HBO as the preferred outlet in terms of premium television.
Different but the same
Though both companies are ready to spend big on original content, there are a few important distinctions between the two. For instance, news programming forms a major portion of HBO’s new content. On the other hand, Netflix avoids such programming and favors serialized shows instead.
Unlike HBO, Netflix dumps all episodes of a season at once onto its network, while HBO releases them weekly at a scheduled time. It primarily targets its linear TV audience, as HBO Now has just one million subscribers.
Taking on Netflix at its own game, would be really tough for any company, but such is not the case with HBO since it has the requisite resources. At the same time, it has a unique eye for compelling content that will help it achieve its goals.