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Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Photo: Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images for Netflix

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Monday that the streaming giant plans to spend 85% of this year's estimated $8 billion content budget on original series, Variety reports.

Why it matters: Netflix isn't just competing with other subscription video on-demand companies, like Hulu and HBO, for eyeballs, but also legacy media companies, tech companies and telecom firms that are also creating their own streaming properties and funding original content projects.

By the numbers, according to Sarandos, per Variety:

  • Netflix will have 1,000 originals by the end of 2018.
  • 470 of those projects are set to premiere between now and the end of the year.
  • More than 90% of Netflix's audience regularly watches its original programming.

Netflix faces a growing number of threats to its booming global business. Most notably, Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox have announced a merger that they hope will enable the combined company to rival Netflix with a robust library of original and traditional content available through an entertainment streaming platform in 2019.

  • Other tech giants, like Apple, have begun to create their own original content studios in order to compete.
  • Charter, one of America's largest telecom companies, hired TV production vet Katherine Pope to start its own original content push this year.

If those numbers sound mind-blowing, think again: Axios' Ina Fried reported last month that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he doesn't think $8 billion is enough to compete on a global stage.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Beto plans Texas comeback in governor's race

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during the Georgetown to Austin March for Democracy rally on July 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, with an announcement expected later this year, Texas political operatives tell Axios.

Why it matters: O'Rourke's entry would give Democrats a high-profile candidate with a national fundraising network to challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — and give O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso and 2020 presidential candidate and voting rights activist, a path to a political comeback.

Texas doctor says he performed an abortion in violation of state law

Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.