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Netflix spends more on content than anyone else on the internet — and many TV networks, too

Last year it spent almost as much as Disney on non-sports programming.

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Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Not only does Netflix spend more money on non-sports content than any streaming provider, it also spends more than many traditional TV media companies.

In 2017, Netflix spent $6.3 billion on original and acquired programming, according to data from MoffettNathanson. That puts it in league with what traditional TV and film content companies like HBO owner Time Warner ($8 billion), Fox ($8 billion) and Disney ($7.8 billion) spend on non-sports programming.

NBCUniversal*, which operates over 10 networks, spends the most on non-sports programming at $10.2 billion.

Netflix’s content spending is higher than Viacom’s (which owns Nickelodeon and MTV), Amazon’s or CBS’s, as well as newer video entrants like Apple and Facebook, both of which spend about $1 billion annually for video content. Netflix, meanwhile, is planning on increasing that budget to $8 billion in 2018 as it works toward filling its library with half original content.

Of course, comparing only non-sports content is a bit of a feint since sports are the most expensive content and the most popular. Disney, which owns ESPN, last year spent $5.8 billion on sports content alone. Fox spent nearly $5 billion.

This chart data was originally part of the slide deck that MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson presented at Code Media earlier this month.

* NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Recode parent company Vox Media.

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