Netflix is preparing to launch its newest original series this month, “Marco Polo,” which focuses on the life of the famous explorer, including his interactions with Kublai Kahn.
It’s one of the most expensive TV series ever made, according to The New York Times, since it costs $US90 million to produce 10 episodes. The only show with a higher budget is HBO’s “Game Of Thrones.”
But there’s another reason “Marco Polo” is so important for Netflix. The company is hoping the series will appeal to international audiences as it expands, especially since Netflix holds the international rights to “Marco Polo.”
Netflix didn’t hold any international rights to other popular shows such as “House Of Cards,” which is why the series was able to appear on rival platforms in Germany and France, according to The New York Times.
But offering a blockbuster show that subscribers — including those overseas — can only get through Netflix could help the company reach its goal of becoming a global company.
Netflix is already hard at work with its international rollout, but subscriber growth hasn’t been booming as much as many had hoped.
In October, following its European launch in September, the company reported that it had added 2 million international subscribers, which is below the 2.36 million estimate many were expecting. Domestic growth has slowed too, as Netflix reported 975,000 subscribers in the US versus the 1.33 million many were expecting.
This sluggish growth in the US makes international expansion that much more important for Netflix. Executives and producers working on the show told The New York Times they think the show will resonate with audiences overseas, especially since the plot focuses on a heroic journey all cultures can relate to.
Netflix is also relying on the show to promote its streaming service in general as in enters new markets.
“Marco Polo” will debut on all of its global properties on Dec. 12. Check out the trailer below to get an idea of what to expect.