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Netflix Shifts Focus to Local Language Unscripted Series and Animated Films

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Netflix Shifts Focus to Local Language Unscripted Series and Animated Films

Netflix, the streaming giant, is set to focus more on international unscripted series and animated movies, as revealed by co-CEO Ted Sarandos at UBS’ Global Media and Communication Conference. This strategic shift comes as the company looks to capitalize on the success of projects like “Beckham” and “Leo.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Netflix will emphasize local language unscripted series and animated movies.
  • Co-CEO Ted Sarandos highlighted the success of “Beckham” and “Leo.”
  • The company has spent about 10 years developing original content, five years making original films, and four years on unscripted content.
  • Unscripted television dominates TV watching in many parts of the world.
  • The U.K. has seen big successes with the docuseries “Beckham.”
  • “Physical: 100,” a Korean unscripted series, found a large international audience.
  • Eight of the top 10 most-streamed movies are animated features.
  • “Leo” marked Netflix’s best launch of an animated feature to date.
  • Netflix plans to enhance its animation output with its deal with Skydance.

Expanding into New Territories

A New Direction for Content

Netflix's decision to lean into local language unscripted series and animated films marks a significant shift in its content strategy. Sarandos pointed out that in many parts of the world, unscripted television is a dominant force in TV watching. This trend is evident in the U.K., where the majority of the top 50 most-watched shows are unscripted and region-specific.

Success Stories Driving Change

The docuseries “Beckham” is one such success story that has influenced this strategic pivot. Following its premiere, David Beckham’s social media following saw an increase of 1 million followers. Similarly, “Physical: 100,” a Korean unscripted series, garnered a substantial international audience, underscoring the global appeal of localized content.

The Power of Animation

Sarandos also highlighted the significant role of animated features in streaming. Citing Nielsen data, he noted that eight of the top 10 most-streamed movies are animated, a genre characterized by high repeat viewing. The success of “Leo,” Netflix’s best launch of an animated feature, further reinforces the company's focus on this genre.

Future Collaborations and Enhancements

Looking ahead, Netflix plans to bolster its animation offerings through a partnership with Skydance. This collaboration aims to produce several films per year, starting next year, enhancing the streamer's portfolio in this category.

Conclusion

Netflix's strategic shift towards local language unscripted series and animated films reflects its commitment to diversifying content and tapping into new markets. With successes like “Beckham” and “Leo” setting the stage, the streaming service is poised to explore new frontiers in entertainment, catering to a global audience with varied tastes and preferences. As the company embarks on this new journey, it will be interesting to see how these changes resonate with viewers worldwide.

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