As Netflix aims to build its global audience, it’s investing in original international content. It announced 17 new Asian originals last year, including eight films from India.
But it’s found early success in the United Kingdom.
The streaming giant has built an impressive library of British TV shows through partnering with UK production companies and networks, and by acquiring exclusive, worldwide distribution rights.
One of the most popular titles to come from such a deal is “Bodyguard,” which was nominated for best drama series and won best actor (Richard Madden) earlier this month at the Golden Globes. Netflix said during its earnings call last week that the show was viewed by 23 million households in its first month. Netflix partnered with the BBC and distributed the show outside of the UK and Ireland.
The strategy benefits both Netflix and British TV networks, as the shows gain a larger audience and can potentially bring in more subscribers for the streamer. “The Last Kingdom,” which originally premiered on BBC networks in 2015, found worldwide success after moving to Netflix.
The show’s executive producer, Gareth Neame, told The Guardian last year that the show “didn’t break through” until Netflix co-produced the second season and streamed it globally . The third season debuted on Netflix in November.
Netflix’s British strategy has paid off so well that the company produced its own British series. “Sex Education,” which premiered this month, is purely a Netflix original that didn’t originate on a UK network, but features a primarily international cast and was filmed in South Wales.
The show is a hit with critics and audiences. It has a 90% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and Netflix said in its earnings report that it will be viewed by an estimated 40 million households in its first month .