Netflix delighted its shareholders with better-than-expected third quarter results and a re-acceleration of international subscriber growth. The company added 3.2 million subscribers outside the United States, with its international operations now accounting for 45 percent of total subscribers.
Much of the streaming service’s success can be traced back to its ongoing investment in quality content, both original and licensed. According to IHS Markit, Netflix spent a total of $4.9 billion on TV programming in 2015 and is expected to spend even more this year and in the years to come. The company announced that it will release 1,000 hours of original shows and movies in 2017, a sharp increase from the 600 hours of exclusive content the service premiered this year.
Our chart illustrates how important services such as Netflix and Amazon have become as producers and buyers of TV content over the past few years. While cable networks are still the most important outlet for scripted TV shows in the United States, online services are rapidly gaining relevance and have already surpassed premium cable in terms of new shows released this year.