Stephen Spielberg

Spielberg deepens relationship with Netflix in new deal

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Amblin Partners, the global film and television studio led by Steven Spielberg, and Netflix have announced a partnership that will cover multiple new feature films per year

This is yet another example of a streamer adding a content string to its bow, in this case future content, rather than any deepening of its extensive back-catalogue. There’s no detail on volume of films, nor any financials, just a series of quotes, which we’ll unpack a little. First Spielberg himself:

“At Amblin, storytelling will forever be at the center of everything we do, and from the minute Ted and I started discussing a partnership, it was abundantly clear that we had an amazing opportunity to tell new stories together and reach audiences in new ways. This new avenue for our films, alongside the stories we continue to tell with our longtime family at Universal and our other partners, will be incredibly fulfilling for me personally since we get to embark on it together with Ted, and I can’t wait to get started with him, Scott, and the entire Netflix team.”

It’s all very upbeat and positive, but we’ve stressed the part about existing relationships — this deal is non-exclusive. Ted Sarandos, Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer added some more generally positive words, and Jeff Small, Amblin Partners CEO, added:

“By deepening our ties with Netflix via this new film partnership, we are building on what has for many years been an incredibly successful working relationship in both television and film. The global platform they’ve built — with more than 200 million members — speaks for itself, and we’re extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with Scott and his amazing team to deliver Amblin’s iconic brand of storytelling to the Netflix audience.”

Let’s look closely; there’s already a relationship, so is this announcement just smoke and mirrors or will there be more content? Time will tell.

Let’s not forget they’ve already worked on The Trial of the Chicago 7, and are currently collaborating on Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein film, Maestro, which is in pre-productionYou can read the full text of the announcement and decide for yourself how far it might stretch.

Our final analysis is Netflix get’s some good brand value from this deal, but we hope there’s more to it. Of course timing is important and we won’t be surprised to have follow-up projects announced sooner than later.