Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) announced in its annual report that it would spend almost $3 billion in 2014 for the license to stream television shows and movies, an amount that will grow to more than $6 million over the next three years. That’s out of a total of $7.6 billion the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company currently owes for content licenses.
Fans of the “Star Wars” series will be pleased to hear how some of that budget is being spent. CNN reported Thursday that Netflix acquired the rights from The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) to stream “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” an animated series that ran on Cartoon Network before it was canceled last year.
Part of the deal includes the 13 episodes from the sixth and final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” that were never broadcast on television. The episodes will debut on Netflix first before being made available on TV networks and other streaming services.
Taking the final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” to Netflix instead of renewing a contract with Cartoon Network shows that the partnership between Netflix and Disney is continuing to strengthen.
None of the six “Star Wars” movies are currently available on Netflix. Disney is also set to premiere a new “Star Wars” animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” on the Disney Channel.
This new deal, which Netflix said is a multi-year agreement, could signal that more “Star Wars” content -- which Disney acquired the rights to in late 2012 -- is coming to the streaming service.
As International Business Times previously reported, Netflix is doubling down on original content. Seven seasons worth of original content will debut on Netflix in 2014, including second seasons of the hit series “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” The company recently confirmed a third season of “House of Cards.”
Despite the increase in original content spending, Netflix originals will still represent less than 10 percent of its overall global expenditure.
Netflix is also investing heavily in foreign markets, namely Germany and France.
However, this expansion is also partly to blame for Netflix’s increasing licensing costs. As video streaming increasingly becomes a viable entertainment option and competition increases, the international licensing fees continue to increase.
What content would you most like to see streaming on Netflix in 2014? Let us know in the comments.