Netflix Promises No Content Shortage Any Time Soon

Ted Sarandos opens up about how Netflix is faring during COVID-19.


In a wide-ranging interview with IndieWire, Netflix's Ted Sarandos openly expressed skepticism at what has recently been a growing quarantine concern: That we are going to run out of new content before 2020 ends.

"To be honest with you, we work pretty far our on our series and our films," the co-chief executive officer and chief content officer said. "By the time the shutdown came, we missed some shooting days, but we got back to work in post-production relatively quickly. The demands on everybody's time clearly got different. But you shouldn't feel too much of an interruption in the flow of programming."

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Although Sarandos concedes that COVID-19 has impacted some productions (the Spanish series Elite "shut down... after a cast member tested positive"), the executive emphasized how the new normal we've all been navigating has created unusual circumstances that has led to even more unpredictable successes. In the interview, Sarandos pointed to Tiger King as how tastes have been quickly changing post-coronavirus: "The great thing about someone finding Tiger King is that sometimes it's the first non-fiction thing they've ever watched… it opens up a whole world to them--maybe thousands of movies they've never seen before."

Netflix, like many streaming platforms, plays it pretty close to the chest about actual numbers regarding its biggest releases. But Sarandos says documentaries around the world have "seen a big growth" and how viewers aren't dissuaded from language barriers--that, for example, Tiger King has taken many viewers "all the way into foreign-language documentaries."

IndieWire's interview with Sarandos is part of the site's Screen Talk podcast, and also touches on additional topics including Netflix's decision to not participate in film festivals this fall.

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