Skip to navigationSkip to content
Outlaw King
Netfix/David Eustace
“Outlaw King” was a big production, even by Netflix standards.

What Netflix’s balance sheet tells us about all that money the company is spending

Member exclusive by Ashley Rodriguez for Streaming Wars

Shares of Netflix are up more than 40% this year on strong subscriber growth, the metric of choice for Netflix investors. The streaming-video giant expects to close out 2018 with its biggest quarter ever, adding 9.4 million members (pdf) for a total of 146.5 million worldwide. But all that growth—driven by big boosts in international signups and a plethora of originals, from Alfonso Cuarón’s hotly anticipated Roma to big-budget pictures like Outlaw King and series like The Haunting of Hill House—comes at a cost. As partners like Disney ready competing streaming platforms for 2019, Netflix is spending more to self-produce and license exclusive hits.

Illustration by Quartz, document via Netflix

This scary number here is Netflix’s free cash flow, which sunk to a negative $1.7 billion during the first nine months of 2018, from minus $1.5 billion during the same period last year. The company expects to end up with around $3 billion in negative free cash flow this year.

You are reading a Quartz member exclusive.

Become a member to keep reading this story and unlock unlimited access to all of Quartz.

Membership will also get you:

See the rest of our guide to Streaming Wars

Exclusive videos that show you how the world is changing faster than ever before

Deeper access to our journalists and the Quartz community

Our extensive archive of guides on the forces that are shaping our future