As Netflix faces the talent supply issues that threaten the entire entertainment industry, it has admitted a “scarcity” of diversity in the talent pool. The admission came via a statement from the content chief responsible for Netflix’s operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Katja Hofem.
Although Netflix is one of the most influential bodies in the current streaming market, they have encountered “a lot of challenges in our market,” Hofem revealed to the board of delegates during her Series Mania keynote yesterday.
“We face a scarcity of writers, producers, directors, and in Germany, especially, we also see a scarcity when it comes to diverse writers,” Hofem said. “And we want to tell all the stories [we can] in the market.”
Netflix’s vice president of content for the DACH region said one of her “passion projects” is to tell migrant stories from Germany “that have not been told yet”. These might include stories from the Turkish community that arrived in the 1970s, she offered, and “the identities they [adopted] to fit into that society”.
Hofem explained that Netflix has now established a writing academy to help diversify its writing pool and is planning, with the Netflix Turkey team, to run a Turkish-German cooperative writers’ workshop to address the issue.
“At the end of the day, it gives back to us great visions and ideas, and we will benefit from them and have some ideas for new series that are telling these stories in a new way and with a new perspective that hasn’t been seen in Germany,” she said.
Hofem joined European colleagues Jenny Stjernströmer Björk, vice-president of content, Nordics, and Damien Couvreur, the vice-president of series in France. All three discussed ongoing efforts to encourage diverse creativity on the platform.
Netflix’s German catalogue includes Criminel, an exciting new thriller series about rival gangs from Berlin and Vienna, which marks the platform’s second collaboration with Marvin Kren.
Hofem said Criminel marks “the first time we’re daring to do an action-packed crime thriller series. We can benefit so much from the learning of each territory when it comes to genres like crime”.
“We want to give creatives the best experience working with us,” she added. “That means we give them the freedom to work on this creative vision that we share for a series, and we give them the tools to express it.”
See the trailer for the second season of K-drama The Glory, currently Netflix’s most popular series, below.