As the Dave Chappelle controversy continues to engulf Netflix, employees have been sharing internal conversations at the streaming giant, and what they reportedly reveal (according to Bloomberg) is a surprising bit of information about how much return Netflix is getting on its massive investments — and one of its smallest.
In a new Bloomberg report on how much “impact value” Chappelle’s special brings to Netflix, internal documents on the streaming company’s metrics show that Netflix actually lost money on his last special, Sticks & Stones, which cost $23.6 million. By comparison, the entire first season of Squid Game only cost $21.4 million, and it’s an international smash-hit that’s delivered record numbers for Netflix.
As Collider notes, Squid Game is also considerably cheaper than other Netflix hits:
At around $2.4 million per episode across its nine-episode run, securing the K-drama was also less costly than fellow top ten launches on the platform like The Crown and Stranger Things which, per a Variety report, came in at $10 million and $8 million per episode respectively. While still a lot of money, Squid Game was a bargain, especially in the age of increasingly rising costs for television shows fueled by bigger properties like Marvel and Disney seeping into the market.
These new internal numbers apparently provide an interesting look at Netflix’s inner-workings, which have been notoriously opaque. Most reporting on the success of Netflix series relies on Netflix as a source, which is not always ideal. More importantly, it raises questions about the streaming company’s strategy of dropping big bucks to secure A-list actors like the reported $200 million it spent on Red Notice starring Ryan Reynolds, The Rock, and Gal Gadot. You can almost buy 10 Squid Games with that kind of money.