Netflix's expanded marketing budget might be going toward billboards

Netflix has a huge amount of original programming scheduled for release in 2018. (Wikimedia Commons)

Netflix earlier this year revealed a beefed-up marketing budget for 2018, and now it appears a good chunk of that may be going into good old-fashioned billboards.

According to Reuters, Netflix has offered more than $300 million for a company that owns billboards all over Los Angeles, including the Sunset Strip. Regency Outdoor Advertising apparently has received other offers, so Netflix’s bid isn’t a done deal.

If the proposed acquisition goes through, it would give Netflix a firm hold in the growing out-of-home marketing segment. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising revenue rose 1.2% in 2017 compared to the previous year, accounting for $7.7 billion, based on figures released by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

It could also potentially make it tougher for Netflix’s programming competitors, including Amazon and HBO, to buy billboards in Los Angeles.

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When Netflix reported its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings in January, it also revealed a marketing budget of $2 billion to go along with its $7.5 billion to $8 billion programming budget for 2018.

That expanded marketing budget will have to shoulder the rather large task of getting the word out about Netflix’s huge amount of original programming scheduled for release in 2018.

Netflix CFO David Wells said (via Variety) during a Morgan Stanley investor conference that the company’s projected $8 billion content budget for 2018 will produce quite the slate. Wells said Netflix will have 80 non-English language original productions made in foreign markets in 2018 alone, but he was careful to point out that number doesn’t include titles like “Orange is the New Black” or “Narcos,” which he said play well in markets outside of the U.S.

“There’s even more than 80. If you think about the total number, it might be in the 700 range,” said Wells.