Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann Clarifies Streamer’s Film Strategy Under New Chief

At the Morgan Stanley TMT conference on March 4, Spencer Neumann said Netflix's film strategy won't change.

Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann and guests.
Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann and guests at the Netflix FYSee VIP Reception, Screening and Q&A on May 05, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. Presley Ann/Getty Images for Netflix

At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications conference yesterday (Mar. 4), Netflix (NFLX)’s chief financial officer Spencer Neumann boasted the company’s leading 18 Oscar nominations ahead of the 2024 Academy Awards this weekend. This is the third time in four years Netflix’s film studio has scored the most Oscar nominations in a season. And Neumann made sure to acknowledge the efforts led by Scott Stuber, who is leaving his post as Netflix’s film chief this month to start his own production studio. 

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Netflix’s film division has “come a long way,” Neumann said at the conference, adding that he would give “a lot of credit to Scott for what he built over the last years in terms of the quality and level of talent that we work with.”

Netflix announced last week that Stuber’s role would be filled by Dan Lin, the founder and CEO of the film studio Rideback known for producing the Lego and It movie franchises, as well as Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Many industry observers have been curious how Netflix’s film strategy might change under Lin. The company’s C-suite leaders so far don’t seem to have plans for a major overhaul. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos told investors during the company’s earnings call in January, “We do not plan to change our strategy or the mix.” Neumann reiterated this view at the conference yesterday, saying Lin’s job is just to take the studio to the “next level” and “bring another perspective.”

It’s not a change in strategy per se,” Neumann said. “We’re just continuing to kind of evolve and get better and Dan brings this amazing experience…He’s got production experience in big companies, he’s been entrepreneurial in what he’s done in the last couple of handfuls of years.” 

Neumann spoke about Netflix’s focus on building out its animated film selection, which currently is mostly made up of licensed content rather than Netflix originals. The film studio is changing this through its partnership with Skydance Animation in a multiyear feature film deal that’s set to debut its first movie this year.  

Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann Clarifies Streamer’s Film Strategy Under New Chief