Netflix Shifts Focus to Licensing Content

  • Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos announced at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York that the company is shifting its focus to licensing content rather than creating as much original content.

  • Sarandos mentioned that the availability of licensed content has increased, providing an opportunity for Netflix to acquire more licensed content from traditional media companies focusing on profitability.
  • Licensing allows Netflix to have a diverse content library without the need for heavy investment in original productions.
  • Sarandos highlighted the success of licensed content on Netflix, using the example of the show “Suits,” which performed well on the platform after being licensed.
  • Other streaming platforms, including Warner Bros Discovery and NBC Universal, have also embraced licensing as a strategy to enhance their content libraries.
  • In addition to licensing, Netflix remains focused on other content creation areas, such as unscripted content, local language unscripted shows, and animation.


  • The shift to licensing represents a strategic move for Netflix to navigate rising debt levels, high-interest rates, and increased competition in the streaming space.
  • Licensing allows Netflix to offer a wide variety of content to subscribers without the financial burden of producing everything in-house.
  • The success of licensed content, as demonstrated by shows like “Suits,” reinforces the potential for acquiring existing popular content rather than relying solely on original productions.
  • While Netflix acknowledges the value of licensing, the company remains committed to exploring growth opportunities in other content categories, including unscripted shows and animation.
  • The announcement reflects the evolving dynamics of the streaming industry, with streaming platforms adapting their strategies to optimize content offerings and subscriber retention.

Future Implications:

  • The licensing strategy may lead to increased collaboration between streaming services and traditional media companies looking to monetize their existing content libraries.
  • Viewers can expect a more diverse range of content on streaming platforms as licensing allows for the inclusion of popular shows and movies from various sources.
  • The emphasis on local language unscripted content and animation indicates Netflix’s commitment to catering to a global audience with culturally relevant and engaging content.
  • The competition in the streaming space is likely to intensify, with platforms exploring different content acquisition strategies to differentiate themselves and attract subscribers.

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