Thanks to its growing emphasis on original content, streaming giant Netflix is now $20 billion debt, according to the L.A. Times.
The Times reports, that's "a hefty $20.54 billion in long-term debt and obligations," adding, "Netflix is burning through cash at a growing clip," in an effort to keep up with competitors Amazon and Hulu.
The company is reportedly spending $6 billion on content just this year, with its year cash flow said to hit $2.5 billion this year, up a whopping $1.7 billion from last year. And that's despite a wave of cancellations, including chopping "The Get Down," "Girlboss" and "Sense8."
Another part of the cost: The recent move from headquarters from Los Gatos, California to a 14-story building in Hollywood.
And those "Netflix Originals" don't come cheap. Many are licensed from other sources: "Orange Is the New Black" is produced by Lionsgate and "The Crown" is a Sony Pictures Television production, points out the Times. Not to mention all the Marvel shows, including the "The Defenders," "Daredevil," "Luke Cage," and "Jessica Jones."
"Nobody is ever the dominant player forever," Mike Vorhaus of Magid Advisors, a media and digital video consulting group, told the Times, "I think they're going to need some luck in not drowning in debt in the ultimate slowdown of growth."
Michael Pachter, a Wedbush analyst, told the Times he sees disaster ahead: "I think [Netflix] is kicking the can down the road and a looming write-down is coming."
Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, told the Times earlier this month that the company is learning from its failed shows: "Some of them work out great, some of them work out not so great, and we can learn from every single one of them."