Via The Hollywood Reporter, we've got word from Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, about the impact of the pandemic. In a guest appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources, Sarandos explained how the company is taking precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Unsurprisingly, Sarandos claimed that "viewing is up" at the moment, likely due to the number of people confining themselves at home to stop the spread of the disease. However, in order to reduce the risk of transmission, Netflix has also halted the production of its shows to protect those involved.
"It's been a massive disruption," said Sarandos. "Every one of our productions around the world are shut down. I believe that's unprecedented in history. And we have a lot of folks who have found themselves suddenly and without notice to be out of work."
He also said that he didn't believe there would be "any disruption in our output over the next few months."
"We work pretty far ahead. You know, we deliver all of our shows with all episodes at once. So, we're pretty far ahead."
Yes, some few big hits, such as Nailed It! series 4 and After Life series 2 are coming soon, but shows that were in mid-production like Stranger Things 4 and The Witcher's season 2 may be notably delayed depending how long governments advise people to practice social distancing and sheltering in place.
He says that production teams are still working however, referencing a recent virtual table read by the cast, writers and producers of animated series Big Mouth.
Sarandos also commented on the recent order from the European Union that Netflix and other streaming services had to limit their bit rate in order to prevent overloading networks. While quality has been reduced, it shouldn't be noticeable.
"We obviously are complying with that and we're going to look to support that — those requests around the world if there need be ... keep in mind that the visual quality for the consumer will be barely noticeable at the rates that we're talking about in Europe," he said.
- New on Netflix April 2020: Movies, TV shows and originals
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.