Ted SarandosLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 6/11/18 at 8:19AM EDT
Inside Netflix's "binge factory," which has upended television by replacing demographics with "taste clusters"
According to Josef Adalian's deep dive into Netflix, the streaming service relies on "taste clusters," described as "predicating programming decisions on immense amounts of data about true viewing habits, not estimated ones. It has discovered ways to bundle enough niche viewers to make good business out of fare that used to play only to tiny markets." “Nothing is too niche,” says Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “It’s just relative to what it costs. We can put a smaller show on the air and support the economics through subscriptions, but it’s not infinite. Eventually, there’s opportunity cost.” Adalian adds: "Mysterious though it may seem, Netflix operates by a simple logic, long understood by such tech behemoths as Facebook and Amazon: Growth begets more growth begets more growth. When Netflix adds more content, it lures new subscribers and gets existing ones to watch more hours of Netflix. As they spend more time watching, the company can collect more data on their viewing habits, allowing it to refine its bets about future programming." Or as Sarandos puts it, “more shows, more watching; more watching, more subs; more subs, more revenue; more revenue, more content."
Posted Tuesday 5/29/18 at 6:28PM EDT
Netflix boss: Our Obama deal doesn't mean we're becoming "the Obama Network"
"It's not The Obama Network, it's not the MSNBC shift," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, a Democrat, said at the Paley Center for Media in New York. "There's no political slate to the programming." Sarandos did acknowledge that "it's hard to argue there's not a left lean to the creative community." But he says he pursued the Obamas because "I didn't want to see that deal go anywhere else, because I think they're going to be great at it."
Posted Monday 5/21/18 at 1:08PM EDT
The Obamas ink deal to produce TV shows and movies for Netflix
Barack and Michelle Obama have officially signed on for a multiyear Netflix production deal. It was first reported on March 8 that the former president and first lady were in advanced talks to "produce a series of high-profile shows that will provide (them) a global platform." On Monday, Netflix announced that the Obamas will work on potential scripted and unscripted series, including documentary series. According to an article in The New York Times, "the former president has told associates that he does not intend to use the new platform to wage a public campaign against his successor in the Oval Office, or to fight against conservative media outlets like Fox News." In a statement, President Obama said: "One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life, and to help them share their experiences with a wider audience. That’s why Michelle and I are so excited to partner with Netflix – we hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the entire world.” Michelle Obama added: “Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others. Netflix’s unparalleled service is a natural fit for the kinds of stories we want to share, and we look forward to starting this exciting new partnership.”
Posted Monday 5/14/18 at 11:28PM EDT
Netflix boss: Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy "don't care" about viewership numbers
"They don't want to know," says Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "In fact, there's great comfort that comes from not having this arbitrary apples-to-oranges measurement against other things on television. If we're happy, they're happy."
Posted Monday 5/07/18 at 5:09PM EDT
Netflix boss: "it's not humanly possible anymore" for me to watch everything on my streaming service
Chief content officer Ted Sarandos admits even he can't watch all the shows on Netflix. Asked by The Hollywood Reporter how he keeps up, he confessed: "Not very well sometimes. I have an amazing team. And more than that, an amazing team that's super empowered, that can make those decisions. There was a time when I got to watch every cut and read every draft, and I don't even think — it's not humanly possible anymore." Sarandos made his comments at a For Your Consideration Emmy campaign event featuring a nearly 200-strong red carpet representing nearly 60 different Netflix programs, from Dave Chappelle to the stars of G.L.O.W., American Vandal and 13 Reasons Why.
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 6:54AM EDT
Stranger Things taps Cary Elwes and Jake Busey for Season 3
The Princess Bride star Elwes will play Mayor Kline and Gary Busey's son will join the cast as Bruce, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced, without revealing further details on their characters.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 2:00PM EST
Norm Macdonald will host Netflix's Norm Macdonald Has a Show from executive producer David Letterman
The former Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" anchor-turned-podcast host announced the news that he previously hinted about on Twitter, posting his text exchange confirming the deal with Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Letterman will serve as executive producer, or "location scout" on the talk show, which will feature Macdonald, sidekick Adam Eget and a celebrity guest, featuring “great and unexpected conversation, jokes, and a behind-the-scenes look at Norm’s world." Netflix has ordered 10 episodes to premiere later this year or early next year.
Posted Thursday 3/08/18 at 9:15PM EST
Former President Obama is in advanced talks to produce and appear in TV shows for Netflix
The New York Times reports that the proposed deal, which is not yet finalized, would have Barack and Michelle Obama creating exclusive content for the streaming service that would be available to Netflix's 118 million subscribers. "Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics, according to people familiar with discussions about the programming," reports The Times. "They said the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories. But the Netflix deal, while not a direct answer to Fox News or Breitbart.com, would give Mr. Obama an unfiltered method of communication with the public similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media, with 101 million Twitter followers and 55 million people who have liked his Facebook page." Potential shows include the former president moderating discussions, the former first lady championing topics like nutrition and the ability to lend their name and brand to projects such as documentaries. The Times reports that Apple and Amazon also expressed interest in signing the Obamas, but the former president is particularly close to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, whose wife served as his ambassador to the Bahamas. It was on Netflix that Obama submitted to his first televised interview since leaving office, on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
Posted Tuesday 12/05/17 at 3:06PM EST
Netflix is creating a choose-your-own adventure show for adults
Chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the success of Netflix kids shows Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile inspired the company to try doing interactive shows for adults.
Posted Monday 12/04/17 at 12:56PM EST
House of Cards will resume production in early 2018 without Kevin Spacey
Robin Wright will be the star when the eight-episode sixth and final season resumes filming in early 2018, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced this morning. “We are excited to bring closure to fans," Sarandos said, noting that resuming production will ensure that people working on the show won’t lose their jobs.
Posted Tuesday 10/03/17 at 11:32PM EDT
Netflix boss calls Peak TV “a completely backwards idea”
“We’re making a lot of television because tastes are incredibly diverse,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, adding: “The notion of Peak TV is a completely backwards idea, which is that somehow you can have too much of things,” Sarandos. That’s like having too many choices at the buffet. You’re only going to eat the things you like.” ALSO: Sarandos anoints Aziz Ansari “the Voice of His Generation.”
Posted Wednesday 8/16/17 at 10:01PM EDT
Netflix boss plans to spend $7 billion on content next year, recalls delivering DVDs to Shonda Rhimes’ house
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, in an interview with Variety, also responded to Disney pulling its programming to launch its own streaming service: “I would say that the relationship between studios and networks has always been that of a frenemy.” Sarandos said he and Rhimes, whom he poached from ABC earlier this week, have known each other for years since they live blocks from each other. “I have sought her feedback and even delivered DVDs to her house myself of our upcoming projects,” he says. Meanwhile, the $7 billion spending on content next year is up from $5 billion last year and $6 billion this year.