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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

Ashley Rodriguez
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.

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