Netflix is Expected to Spend $17 Billion on Original Programming This Year; Here’s Why This is Bad for Creators

Alex Gonzalez
4 min readJan 20, 2020
‘Daybreak’, which premiered on Netflix last year, was canceled after only one season. | Netflix

Last week’s cancellation of HBO’s Watchmen sent many fans into shock. The dystopian drama series was a huge hit for the network, pulling in nominations for Critics’ Choice Television Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards and more. After showrunner Damon Lindelof stepped down from Watchmen, HBO announced that they would not pursue a second season. Watchmen was among several hit television shows that were canceled after one season over the course of the past year, including Netflix’s Daybreak and CBS’ Happy Together.

In an age where television consumers can simply binge multiple episodes in one sitting, it’s not difficult to see why people lose interest in television programs so quickly. As soon as the viewer is done with one program, they can go ahead and binge the next and the cycle continues. The days of planning your schedule in order to make it home from work in time to catch your program are a thing of the past.

As a subscriber to five different video streaming services, I can say that streaming has hurt the creative process for television and film, just as much as it has helped. Over the course of the next year, Netflix is projected to spend over $17 billion on original content. While this may seem beneficial to the writers, producers and directors creating content, it actually could probably do more harm than good.

It’s rare to see a Netflix Original go past four seasons. Could this be because with several new programs being shoved down our throats, we lose interest in the shows in which we were once emotionally invested? Over the course of the past three weeks, several Netflix Originals have been trending topics on social media, including the Academy Award-nominated Marriage Story, docuseries like Don’t F**k With Cats and Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, and reality competition The Circle. While these programs and films may rake in a lot of views, tweets and hashtags over the course of a week or two, are they as impactful as they would be had they screened on traditional formats?

In an age where we don’t have to wait a week between episodes, it’s hard for a television program to resonate in the viewers’ minds for long periods of time. In the past…

Alex Gonzalez

UNT Alumnus | 26 | Lover of music, food, baseball, dogs and world cultures | Curator of incredibly dope playlists