The king of streaming appears to be taking a leaf out of Disney’s marketing book by launching Netflix.shop, its first merchandise store.
When you think of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and its subscription model, you probably don’t think of merchandising.
However, in a world that has brought us Tesla-branded tequila and those accursed Minions, is Netflix.shop really such an outlandish concept?
Can Netflix replicate Disney’s success?
History is littered with examples of merchandising success stories. George Lucas famously retained merchandising rights to ‘Star Wars’, making him a multi-billionaire. Disney (NYSE: DIS) built an empire based on the merchandising rights of its popular movies — ironically, with Star Wars (which it bought in 2012) now bringing in almost $60 billion in licensed products alone.
And Netflix can do the same.
With the launch of its first-ever brand store, Netflix.shop, the king of streaming can begin selling merchandise with almost a decade of IP behind it and years more to come.
There will be ‘Lupin’ pillows and Netflix-branded boxer shorts. ‘Yasuke’ clocks and ‘80s inspired ‘Stranger Things’ clothes. ‘The Witcher’, ‘The Crown’, ‘Bridgerton’, the list goes on, with product possibilities for each… Just think: one successful piece of merchandise, perhaps a ‘Geralt of Rivia’ duvet cover, could pay for an entire episode’s production.
And Netflix won’t only have potential merch buyers in its 200 million subscribers. Many of those subs are sharing their passwords with countless other Netflix IP zealots who are also potential customers. ‘Stranger Things’ is a cultural touchstone. The Witcher is one of the hottest products in gaming. These products will sell.
Perhaps Netflix doesn’t have a century of content behind it and I doubt we’ll be seeing a Netflixworld theme park any time soon, but it’s a relatively young company at the forefront of streaming, and more importantly, it’s an actual studio now.
If it plays its cards right, Netflix could be sitting on the golden goose that investors had previously thought to be the introduction of ad-supported memberships.
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