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Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told several senior executives last month that spending on film and TV projects, particularly big budget movies, needed to be more cost-effective, The Information reports.

Why it matters: Netflix's heavy spending has set the bar for all of the other streamers looking to challenge it. But Sarandos reportedly said that big-budget projects need to bring in lots of viewers, not just drive buzz.

The big picture: In the past, Netflix used "a ratio of their cost to a measure of viewership that gives more weight to new subscribers and those viewed at risk of canceling," The Information's Jessica Toonkel, Tom Dotan and Beejoli Shah write.

Be smart: Matthew Ball, former head of strategy at Amazon Studios, argues that this is not a sign of trouble for Netflix, but rather a sign of maturation.

  • He says Netflix for a long time needed to focus on creating enough scale to add as many users as possible. Now that it's achieved that, Ball argues it can be pickier.

What's next: There's been a lot of talk about whether companies that make content and own streaming services would eventually pull their titles in favor of their own platforms.

  • NBC said last week that 'The Office' would leave Netflix in 2020 to stream exclusively on NBCUniversal's forthcoming streaming service.
  • Yes, but: Over the weekend, news broke that DC Entertainment, which is owned by AT&T's Warner Bros., would license its new series for its hit comic Sandman to Netflix for a pretty price, proving that theory wrong.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 7 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
9 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.

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