If you find the number of “New Releases” bearing the red Netflix logo on your streaming queue to be completely overwhelming, your feeling of anxiety is only going to get worse. In December, the streaming service claimed it was going to double its original programming this calendar year, including scripted and unscripted shows, movies, and comedy specials, and it seems to be on course to do so. The latest obscene announcement from the company: They will be running a new standup special every week, according to a statement made to The Verge. That is almost exactly double the 25 they released last year, so Netflix seems to be very literally putting its money where its mouth is.
This comes hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that two new Dave Chapelle specials will premiere on March 21, signifying that the money for the weekly schedule is not only going toward rising comics with a modest price tag. Variety reports that the company has recently purchased specials from Chris Rock (two for $40 million), Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Tracy Morgan, and Jerry Seinfeld (also two, and a new home for his talk show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee).
A Fortune report also estimates that the average cost of a new standup special in the current market now comes to somewhere around $20 million, nearly double what it was just a few years ago, thanks in part to Netflix’s generous contracts. And so, as comedy producer Brian Volk-Weiss told Variety, it seems that “by the end of this year, unless somebody mounts a tremendous counterattack… Netflix will have utter domination of one of five or six genres that exist.”