Hey! Big spender

Financial Mail - - SHOP TALK - @zeenat­moorad mooradz@bdlive.co.za


Net­flix is off to the debt mar­kets again as the con­tent arms war hots up. The stream­ing giant has just an­nounced plans to take on $2bn in new debt by of­fer­ing un­se­cured bank notes. It’s the third time in a year that Net­flix has raised debt this way.

There was a round in April for $1.9bn. And last Oc­to­ber the com­pany of­fered $1.6bn in notes.

The money will be used for “gen­eral cor­po­rate pur­poses” — which could in­clude con­tent ac­qui­si­tions and pro­duc­tion costs, along with other in­vest­ments. Net­flix is drop­ping cash like mad be­cause the stream­ing mar­ket is get­ting more com­pet­i­tive.

Ama­zon and Ap­ple both play in that space and next year Dis­ney and Warn­er­me­dia divi­sion will launch their own stream­ing ser­vices.

The strat­egy is to have more orig­i­nal con­tent — so that’s shows cre­ated, funded and owned by Net­flix, like The Crown or Stranger Things, over li­censed con­tent, which is ba­si­cally a huge col­lec­tion of TV show re­runs from a va­ri­ety of sources. Think: Grey’s Anatomy, Friends or The Of­fice.

Net­flix ac­tu­ally at­tributes sub­scriber growth to its in­vest­ment in orig­i­nal con­tent. It has even hired (scratch that, I mean poached) mega TV pro­duc­ers in­clud­ing Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Mur­phy.

Now, the new is­sue fol­lows a top quar­ter for the com­pany. Last Tues­day the stream­ing pi­o­neer said it had more

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