The fourth season of Stranger Things looks set to be the show’s biggest season ever, and the cost of each episode is just as great. Each episode has reportedly cost at least $30 million.
According to the Wall Street Journal Netflix has become more cost-conscious after years of “prioritising growth over cost efficiency.” Stranger Things was used as an example of a show that needs “relatively cheap hits” to balance out the huge price tag.
“Relatively cheap hits are needed to balance the price tag of these kinds of shows. Stranger Things costs more than $30 million per episode, according to people close to the show,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.
If this is correct, the fourth season of Stranger Things is one of the most expensive seasons in history. It would be way above the Halo TV series with a budget of ten million dollars per episodethe last season of Game of Thrones and the Mandalorian with a budget of $15 million per episode and the Marvel shows with a budget of $25 million per episode come to be. It’s just not as high as the budget for Prime Videos Lord of the Rings series.
The “holy grail” for Netflix series like Squid Game and Virgin River. This kind of series costs much less than Stranger Things, but they do become real hits. Virgin River, for example, cost about three million dollars per episode. Bridgerton, on the other hand, costs “more than three times as much” and isn’t as efficient as Netflix would like.
This focus on success without spending too much money does come with a danger. Shows that fail are quickly discontinued. Even if they are very expensive, like Hit and Run and Jupiter’s Legacy. Those two projects were canceled after about a month on Netflix.
Stranger Things makes a lot of money for Netflix. It also brings back people who are not subscribed to the streaming service by default. Netflix values shows that appeal to “less frequent users of the service, who are most at risk of unsubscribing,” Netflix executives said.
For more information about Netflix and how the streaming service is in serious trouble, check out the latest episode of our Video Take podcast.