If you thought Netflix was all-in on anime before, think again. After announcing an impressive slate of original, rebooted, and adapted anime series in August, Netflix has confirmed that it’s working on a staggering number of original anime series. The reasons why partly have to do with technology, economics, and presumably viewership.
During its quarterly earnings call on Monday, Netflix chief of content Ted Sarandos said that the streaming giant was working on 30 original anime projects. Netflix’s chief product officer Greg Peters said part of the reason for this ramp-up is that anime is easy to code for the streaming service:
“You take something like anime, which is super-efficient from a coding perspective,” Peters said. “We can now provide an amazing quality — video quality experience on mobile for anime titles at 150 kilobits per second, which is practically unheard of previously.”
So that’s the technological reason. The other reason is interesting, too. Anime is cheaper more “efficient,” in the words of Sarandos, to produce outside the United States. It’s basic economics. Anime is popular, efficient to code, and cheap to produce, so Netflix is going all-in.
“I’d say on the international originals, we enjoy a lot of production efficiencies in producing outside of the United States,” Sarandos told financial analysts. “So we can produce in higher volume and bring kind of higher and higher production standards to those markets. So we’ve been really thrilled with our ability to do that. Greg mentioned earlier about anime just by way of example. We’ve more than 30 and original anime projects in various states of production these days, so just kind of give you some sense of the scale.”
Netflix has been making aggressive pushes to produce original content in the past few years. The platform devoted $6 billion for original content in 2017, resulting in anime-inspired series like Neo Yokio and Castlevania.
In 2018, Netflix plans to spend $8 billion, which will help them facilitate their goal of eventually making their library 50 percent original, while catering to every subscriber and providing the greatest variety of content available. This means more content for European or non-North American audiences. Despite the huge increase in spending, Netflix’s chief financial officer David Wells said that another price-hike for North American or European subscribers wasn’t on the horizon.
The idea of more anime is an exciting one, even if it means that many fans will have to add way more series to their watchlists than expected.