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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Netflix told investors Monday that it's aiming to raise another $2 billion in financing through debt securities to foot the bill for more content. In total, the streamer has committed to spending over $18 billion on content in the future.

Why it matters: Netflix spends far more on content than its competitors, particularly legacy TV. It does so to build its subscriber base (currently 130 million worldwide) big enough to have the leverage to one day increase subscription prices, bringing them closer to profitability.

The bottom line: New competition from companies like Disney and AT&T, as well as existing domestic and international competition, is forcing the streaming giant to invest even more in maintaining its lead.

I asked Matthew Ball, the former head of strategy for Amazon Studios who is considered one of the most authoritative voices on big media business, whether this is sustainable. He says:

"Netflix's annual cash spend has grown 40%+ in each of the past three years. In addition, Hastings has been clear about the magnitude of short-term cash burn and that burn will continue for "many years". This debt raise shouldn't be a surprise. Whether it's sustainable depends on (1) Netflix's success in sustaining subscriber growth; (2) The market's endorsement of Hasting's scale strategy; and (3) The company's ability to manage and then reduce net cash burn as its overall spend (and revenue) grows."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO feels "liberated" after taking COVID vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells "Axios on HBO" that he recently received his first of two doses of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Bourla told CNBC in December that company polling found that one of the most effective ways to increase confidence in the vaccine was to have the CEO take it.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO: SEC lawsuit is "bad for crypto" in the U.S.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by U.S. regulators, it would put the country at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Between the lines: The SEC in December sued Ripple, and Garlinghouse personally, for allegedly selling over $1.3 billion in unregistered securities. Ripple's response is that its cryptocurrency, called XRP, didn't require registration because it's an asset rather than a security.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO: "It will be terrible" if COVID-19 vaccine prices limit access

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told "Axios on HBO" that it "will be terrible for society" if the price of coronavirus vaccines ever prohibits some people from taking them.

Why it matters: Widespread uptake of the vaccine — which might require annual booster shots — will reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread and mutate, but it's unclear who will pay for future shots or how much they'll cost.

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