Movies have long generated revenue from sales of merchandise related to the shows (think Disney). According to trade group Licensing International, sales of licensed products tied to shows was roughly $49 billion in the U.S. in 2019, and $128 billion globally. That’s a big number and one that has attracted Netflix to enter the market with its own merchandise line and shop.
Not content to have us all streaming entertainment constantly, Netflix now wants us to shop on its platform, too. Netflix has launched an online store with items that are highlighted in its shows. While Netflix holds a dominant lead in streaming, it also needs to have new sources of revenue in order to expand. Competitors such as Hulu and HBO Max charge streaming fees, but they also show commercials to generate additional revenue. Netflix does not have that revenue stream.
The new online store will sell apparel, merchandise, and collectibles from favorite shows such as “Stranger Things,” “Lupin,” and other shows. Limited edition street wear and action figures based on “Yasuke” and “Eden” (anime series) are now available. Lupin merchandise includes baseball caps, shirts, hoodies, throw pillow, and even a side table. All of the Lupin products were designed and produced in cooperation with the Louvre Museum. Future products will be based on popular series including “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things” along with Netflix logo apparel.
This isn’t Netflix’s first foray off screen. It has previously created video games based on popular shows and has agreements with department stores to sell products as well.
What will you buy?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: What movies and shows can they list that have licensed products for sale?
- Have they purchased items related to these shows?
- Show Netflix’s new store: https://www.netflix.shop/
- Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for marketing a product. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
- Divide students into teams. Have each team outline a marketing plan for Netflix.shop and have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
- How can this plan be expanded to new geographies outside the U.S.?
Source: New York Times; Reuters; other news sources