Netflix is developing a version of the long-term revenue generator of Hollywood studios, launching an online store for branded goods.
The boutique site, Netflix.shop, includes elements such as Lupine throw pillows ($ 60), Yasuke anime hoods designed by Jordan Bentley of Hypwear ($ 74). Although initial offerings are limited, the store will soon expand to include items for performances such as Bridgerton,, Robbery of money,, The witch and Strange things. So far, the retail operation is underway and works only in the United States, but will reach global territories in the coming months, the company said.
Starts on the page: Read the script for the finale of season 4 of Peter Morgan’s “Crown”
Although it remains the dominant player in streaming, with 207 million global subscribers, Netflix does not have the same makeup as other streaming players. Some divisions of traditional rivals such as Disney, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS, such as linear TV networks, are distractions that Netflix does not have to deal with.
Yet these companies have mature and profitable operations with consumer products capable of providing significant financial contributions. Many individual properties can generate billions in revenue and offer synergies in theme parks and other settings. Netflix has strongly insisted that it has no plans to introduce advertising in its service, but is looking for ways to diversify its revenue to reduce its subscription dependency.
Netflix’s approach to consumer products is not high-end at the outset. It is designed to be more custom-made and created differently from the traditional mass market strategy. Media companies, licensees and retailers have made risky advance bets on the attractiveness of the products, which should arrive months later at critical times, such as the end of the annual holidays. Due to the volatile consumer tastes and unpredictable nature of the presentation of film and television titles, the approach often leads to unsold items from white elephants.
In contrast, Netflix plans to compress the development cycle and make more agile and selective use of titles delivered by the company’s huge content machine. As some shows or movies gain traction, as evidenced by indicators such as social media buzz, the company hopes to quickly win over customers’ appetites.
A number of online and physical retailers have already traded Netflix products, but the company has never had its own business. However, since it began developing popular franchises, the company has shown interest in pursuing consumer products, albeit mostly as a component of marketing. In an interview for the company’s profits in October 2017, then-CEO (now co-CEO) Reid Hastings and content manager (now co-CEO) Ted Sarandos pulled Christmas sweaters over their dresses. Decorated with an elegant print and glittering lights, the garment was part of a set of Strange things goods produced through a licensing deal with Target tied to the premiere of Halloween this season.
“We’re learning how to do merchandising,” Hasting said. “You can also get one of those ugly sweaters,” Sarandos added. “It really celebrates the show in a great way.”