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原创内容投资“难封顶”

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When the first season of House of Cards made its debut on Netflix in February 2013, pundits wondered whether the video streaming service could really afford the $100m political drama. At the time, Netflix had 33.3m streaming subscribers, many of whom quickly became glued to the tale of Washington DC scheming and intrigue.

2013年2月,当《纸牌屋》(House of Cards)第一季在Netflix上映时,评论人士们还怀疑这家视频流媒体服务商是否真能承担得起这部耗资1亿美元的政治剧。当时,Netflix拥有3330万流媒体订阅用户,其中许多人很快迷上了这部讲述华盛顿特区阴谋诡计的电视剧。
Five years ago, original commissioning was a novelty for what was only a few years earlier known primarily as a DVD-by-mail business. Then, Netflix was heavily dependent on content distribution deals with traditional media groups including Walt Disney and Mad Men-maker AMC for the vast majority of its online library.
5年前,对于这家几年前还以在线租赁DVD业务为主的公司来说,委托制作原创内容还是个新鲜事物。当时,Netflix的在线影库严重依赖与华特迪士尼公司(Walt Disney)和《狂人》(Mad Men)制作商AMC等传统媒体集团签订的内容分发协议。
Fast-forward to early 2018 and Netflix can afford to write off $39m without Wall Street even blinking. The $39m non-cash charge incurred in the fourth quarter of 2017 was related to programming, including two episodes of House of Cards that Netflix commissioned but will never air due to the sexual harassment scandal that erupted around the show’s leading man, Kevin Spacey.
快进到2018年初,Netflix已经可以承受得起3900万美元的核销,而华尔街对此眼睛都不眨一下。这笔发生在2017年第四季度的3900万美元非现金费用与节目制作有关,其中包括Netflix委托制作的两季《纸牌屋》——由于主角凯文?史派西(Kevin Spacey)的性骚扰丑闻,它们将永远不会播出。
That charge was reported alongside another forecast-busting set of results on Monday that sent Netflix’s market capitalisation soaring above $100bn for the first time, pushing shares up 10 per cent in early trading yesterday. Annual revenues jumped 32 per cent year on year to $11.7bn in 2017, while net income trebled to $559m, thanks to hit shows including Stranger Things .
随同这笔开支一起发布的还有Netflix又一组超预期的业绩。这导致次日该公司早盘股价上涨10%,公司市值首次突破1000亿美元。2017年,Netflix全年营收同比增长32%,至117亿美元,而净收入则增长两倍,至5.59亿美元。这要归功于包括《怪奇物语》(Stranger Things)在内的一系列热播剧。
Yet as investors cheered Netflix’s accelerating growth to reach 117.6m subscribers globally, the group warned that maintaining momentum in original content would come at an upfront cost that makes that initial $100m outlay look like a rounding error.
然而,在投资者为Netflix增长加速、在全球拥有1.176亿用户欢呼之际,该公司却警告说,保持原创内容增长势头将会产生极高的前期成本。相比之下,最初的1亿美元支出看起来像是个零头。
Netflix’s liabilities from content prepayment and debt have increased four-fold in the past five years. The combination of its long-term debt and streaming content obligations has swelled from $6.1bn at the end of 2012 to $24.2bn at the end of last year.
Netflix在内容预付和债务方面的负债在过去5年里增长了3倍。长期债务和流媒体内容债务从2012年底的61亿美元增加到去年年底的242亿美元。
Of that total, $17.7bn is streaming content obligations — what it pays for the acquisition, licensing and production of television shows and movies, sometimes years in advance of broadcasting a show. The other $6.5bn is debt — and Netflix said on Monday that it planned to tap the bond markets again soon.
其中177亿美元是流媒体内容债务——即在收购、许可和制作电视节目和电影方面付出的成本,尽管有时这些节目得几年之后才会播放。还有65亿美元是债务——而Netflix日前表示,它计划很快再次发行债券。
Analysts at Jefferies said in a note to clients that expenses such as marketing spending and programming cost were “higher relative to our expectations”.
杰富瑞(Jefferies)的分析师在一份客户报告中指出,Netflix支出和节目制作成本等开支“高于我们的预期”。
To justify that $24bn of liabilities, chief executive Reed Hastings is asking investors to bet on Netflix’s success in producing hit shows as it races to fill the programming gap left by the likes of Disney turning from partner to competitor in the streaming market.
为了证明这242亿美元的负债是合理的,Netflix首席执行官里德?黑斯廷斯(Reed Hastings)请求投资者相信Netflix能够成功制作热播剧——它力争填补在迪士尼等公司从流媒体市场合作伙伴转为竞争对手后所留下的节目制作空缺。
“We’ve had that track record in the last couple of years at greater and greater scale,” Mr Hastings said in Monday’s quarterly analyst interview. “We are continuing to take it up a notch.”
黑斯廷斯1月22日在接受季度分析师采访时表示:“过去几年我们的业绩越来越好。我们会更上一层楼。”
Netflix executives touted the upcoming launches of Altered Carbon, a science-fiction show, and Everything Sucks, a coming-of-age comedy-drama set in 1990s Oregon, as examples of shows that would continue to attract new subscribers in 2018.
Netflix的高管力推即将发布的科幻剧《副本》(Altered Carbon),以及以上世纪90年代俄勒冈州为背景的成长喜剧片《诸事皆衰》(Everything Sucks),以此证明公司有能力在2018年继续吸引新用户。
The company also plans to commission more programming in languages other than English, from just a handful of shows last year to more than 30 international “originals” in 2018. Alongside that are dozens more full-length movies, after the Will Smith blockbuster Bright proved a hit last month.
该公司还计划委托制作更多的非英语节目。虽然去年仅有少数非英语节目,但在2018年将会有30多个国际“原创节目”。此外,继12月威尔?史密斯(Will Smith)主演的大片《光灵》(Bright)大获成功之后,Netflix还会推出几十部全长电影。
In total, Netflix plans to invest as much as $8bn in new content this year — and Mr Hastings warned that the budget would continue to grow. “It will definitely of course be higher in 2019 and 2020,” he said of content costs. “Don’t think of $8bn as some new plateau.”
Netflix计划今年在新内容上总共投资80亿美元,而黑斯廷斯警告称,预算将会继续增长。他在谈到内容成本时表示:“2019年和2020年肯定会更高。不要以为80亿美元已经到顶了。”
Competition too is increasing. Disney plans to launch new subscription streaming services this year and Hulu, the US internet video service that is jointly owned by Disney, Fox and Comcast, grew to 17m subscribers last year.
竞争也在加剧。迪士尼计划今年推出新的订阅流媒体服务,而迪士尼、福克斯(Fox)和康卡斯特(Comcast)共同拥有的美国互联网视频服务商Hulu去年用户增长至1700万。
Anticipation of that competition from traditional media companies was what drove Netflix to invest in its own TV shows in the first place, according to content chief Ted Sarandos. Mr Sarandos added that many Netflix shows that are licensed from or made by Disney are locked into long-term deals. “As long as they keep making those shows, they continue on Netflix,” he said.
Netflix内容总监泰德?萨兰多斯(Ted Sarandos)表示,促使公司投资制作原创电视节目的最主要原因正是对来自传统媒体公司的竞争的预期。萨兰多斯补充说,Netflix很多获得迪士尼授权或者由其制作的节目都被锁定在长期交易中。他表示:“只要他们继续制作这些节目,他们就会继续在Netflix播出。”

原创内容投资“难封顶”.jpg

If Mr Hastings was concerned about the impact of Disney’s $66bn plan to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment businesses, he did a good job of hiding it when he was quizzed on Monday.

在被问及迪士尼以660亿美元收购21世纪福克斯公司(21st Century Fox)旗下娱乐业务计划的影响时,黑斯廷斯即使心存忧虑,他也掩饰得很好。
“These kind of big US media company mergers are pretty peripheral to us,” he said. “I was as surprised as anyone else that Fox was willing to sell.”
他说:“此类大型美国媒体公司兼并案对我们来说并不重要。我和其他人一样,对福克斯愿意出售感到意外。”
Yet even though Rupert Murdoch has suggested that the competitive threat from Netflix contributed to his decision to sell Fox to Disney, Mr Hastings said he was looking forward to the new streaming services that would follow the deal — as a viewer, at least.
然而,尽管鲁珀特?默多克(Rupert Murdoch)表示,正是来自Netflix的竞争威胁促使他做出了将福克斯出售给迪士尼的决定,但是黑斯廷斯表示,自己十分期待这项交易之后的新流媒体服务——至少作为一名旁观者如此。
“Disney, with its strength of brand and unique content, will have some real success,” the Netflix chief said. “I know I’ll be a subscriber of it for my own personal watching.”
黑斯廷斯说:“迪士尼将会凭借其品牌实力和独一无二的内容大获成功。我知道,就我个人观看来说,我会成为它的用户。”

重点单词   查看全部解释    
brand [brænd]

想一想再看

n. 商标,牌子,烙印,标记
vt. 打烙印,

联想记忆
X
单词brand 联想记忆:
1)brand商标,挥舞刀剑就是军队的商标。2)读:不愿dish(盘子)。工人罢工得时候会挥舞着刀剑大喊:我们不愿洗盘子。
 
viewer ['vju:ə]

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n. 观看者,电视观众,观察器

 
novelty ['nɔvəlti]

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n. 新奇,新奇的事物,小装饰

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X
单词novelty 联想记忆:
novel新的+ty表名词,用在形容词后,把形容词变成名词→新奇
 
debut ['debju]

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n. 初次登场,首次露面 v. 初次登场

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X
单词debut 联想记忆:
de去掉,but。去掉but?导演Z(平静):你可以上台了。女演员F:but我还没准备好呢?Z(有点儿烦):哪那么多事儿呀,快点儿!F:but我这可是第一次!Z(强忍):谁没有第一次呀,快!F:but…,Z(已经怒了):哪XX那么多but呀,全都给我de掉,再不上去我就X人了!!!
 
momentum [məu'mentəm]

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n. 动力,要素,势头,(物理)动量

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单词momentum 联想记忆:
源于:movement(n 运动)
 
bond [bɔnd]

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n. 债券,结合,粘结剂,粘合剂
vt. 使结

 
justify ['dʒʌstifai]

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vt. 替 ... 辩护,证明 ... 正当

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单词justify 联想记忆:
源于:just(adj 正义的;公正的)
 
reed [ri:d]

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n. 芦苇,芦笛,簧片
Reed:里德(姓氏)

 
jointly ['dʒɔ:intli]

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adv. 共同地,连带地

 
original [ə'ridʒənl]

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adj. 最初的,原始的,有独创性的,原版的

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单词original 联想记忆:
orig升起,开始+in→[生命]开始→起源;出身+al→起源的;独创的
 

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