Netflix plans to dramatically grow its overall marketing spend by 50% in 2018 over the year before -- but it didn’t detail what specific media would see this growth.
During its fourth-quarter 2017 earning announcement, the subscription video service said it plans to grow marketing costs to $2 billion this year from $1.3 billion in 2017.
“We’re taking marketing spend up a little faster than revenue for this year... because our testing results indicate this is wise,” according to Netflix’s letter to shareholders. “We want great content, and we want the budget to make the hits we have really big, to drive our membership growth.”
TV is still a tiny part of Netflix’s marketing revenues.
In 2017, iSpot.tv says Netflix spent $46.3 million on national TV advertising, with the major broadcast networks getting the bulk of the spend: CBS at $10.8 million; Fox at $9.0 million; NBC at $8.6 million; ABC at $7.2 million, and ESPN at $4.7 million.
Netflix spent most of its national TV ad dollars on sporting events -- NFL regular-season games, the Super Bowl, ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” college football and Fox's “2017 World Series.” There were 1,216 airings of its commercials on national TV in 2017.
Netflix now says total content spending -- original TV shows and movies -- will rise to between $7.5 billion to $8 billion. For the fourth quarter, Netflix added 8.3 million global subscribers, totaling 117.6 million. Of this total, U.S. subscribers added 2 million to 54.75 million.