Netflix pays up to 50 per cent more than legacy media companies. Picture: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP Photo
Netflix pays up to 50 per cent more than legacy media companies. Picture: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP Photo

Netflix’s ‘crazy’ salary rule

NETFLIX allows all senior employees to see exactly what their colleagues are earning, with the open-salary policy meaning "everyone is always looking" and comparing their whopping pay packets, according to a report.

The streaming giant pays between 25 to 50 per cent more than traditional media companies in a bid to poach top talent, according to Hollywood Reporter, with some execs easily taking home multimillion-dollar salaries.

Entry-level assistants make from $US70,000 to over $US100,000, managers earn between $US150,000 and $US400,000, directors from $US400,000 to $US800,000 and vice presidents easily more than $US1 million.

The report notes earlier this year Netflix was hiring a movie publicist for $US400,000, and one top publicity executive makes a base salary of $US1.5 million.

"It's not comparable to anywhere else," one insider told the magazine. "It's like play money."

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Picture: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Picture: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos reportedly implemented the open-salary policy last year so employees could check whether they're being fairly compensated.

Anyone at director level or above can see what everyone else makes - and their entire pay history - through an internal system called Workday.

"We were all like, 'F**k, this is crazy,'" Hollywood Reporter quoted an insider as saying. Another said, "Everyone is always looking. It's, 'Holy s**t, they got a $2 million raise last year? What happened?!'"

Netflix shares have fallen more than 23 per cent from their peak in July when the company reported much slower subscriber growth than anticipated, sparking an investor exodus.

The streaming service added 5.1 million subscribers during the April-June period, missing its target by nearly one million. Analysts blamed a series of misfires and flops in Netflix's slate of original content.

There is also growing competition from a raft of rival streaming services including HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube Red and Facebook Watch. In Australia, the Nine-Fairfax joint venture Stan recently passed one million subscribers.

Meanwhile, Disney is working on a streaming service set to debut next year, and Apple is spending about $1.4 billion on original programming of its own.


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