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Netflix Eyes Expanded Presence in Gaming, Local-Language Content Globally

Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters said the streaming giant will keep growing its content spending on “premium longform content,” as well as investing in more local programming around the world.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference Tuesday, Peters said Netflix will continue spending “over time” in all areas, including longform and shortform content in the U.S., as well as local-language content and documentaries (with user-generated content as the only area Netflix will not compete in). The streamer will also look to expand its presence in the gaming space, he said.

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“We think that there’s opportunity to, over time, increase our content spending and deliver more value to members around the world across all of those content categories, really. But one of the areas that’s most exciting, again, is breaking down these barriers that have traditionally existed between storytellers around the world, whatever country that they live in, whatever language that they speak, and being able to now give them the ability to tell that story at a really high level that previously was mostly accessible to a couple handfuls of creators, most of them in Hollywood, and then to give them the ability to connect that story with a huge global audience,” Peters said.

Peters was not asked about the dual writers and actors strike that has shut down most U.S.-based productions and has resulted in lower cash content spend for Netflix for the year.

The streaming giant will also look to expand its presence in the gaming space, Peters said. Netflix currently has more than 50 exclusive games for mobile devices as part of the streaming subscription, as well as a cloud-streaming initiative that allows users to stream the games to multiple devices. While it may take 18 months or more or a few years, the plan is for Netflix to have games across all devices, Peters said.

“We’re excited about the performance that we’ve got in mobile, releasing more and more games, and we see every month our engagement goes up in that regard. But we have aspirations to go beyond that,” he said.

Asked about learnings from the recent launches of the advertising tier and paid-sharing initiative at Netflix, Peters said the company’s goal is to offer a broader range of prices to consumers and to eventually be price agnostic, so that the company does not try to move consumers toward a certain price option.

“I don’t want to be in the position where we’re steering people outside of that context into one place or another because I think that ultimately won’t serve the business well and will hurt us with users,” he said.

But while the company has not yet reached the price-agnostic goal, Peters said that, overall, in relation to the competition, he feels that Netflix has a clear leg up as a company has content across “multiple different genres, multiple different languages, multiple different countries” and has built a relationship with those creative communities, while building out the financials.

“How do you work with the right partners? How do you collect payments around the world? There’s so much that you have to be good at. And I think that really our competitors come from sort of two centers of being good at one set of those things, but not the other or the opposite. And we’re pretty good at all of those,” the Netflix co-CEO said.

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