Tag Archives: entertainment

Netflix Launches Netflix.shop

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:

  1. Poll students: What movies and shows can they list that have licensed products for sale?
  2. Have they purchased items related to these shows?
  3. Show Netflix’s new store: https://www.netflix.shop/
  4. 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.).
  5. 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.
  6. How can this plan be expanded to new geographies outside the U.S.?

Source:  New York Times; Reuters; other news sources

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Amazon’s Latest Buy – MGM Studios

Amazon is not a company that is content to rest on current successes. The company seems to constantly be innovating new products and technologies. And, when not innovating, Amazon loves to buy as much as its customers. The latest acquisition for Amazon is its purchase of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio for a price of roughly $8.45 billion. While not as large as Amazon’s 2017 purchase of Whole Foods (at $13.7 billion), nonetheless it is a substantial investment that seems destined to take Amazon even further into the entertainment business.

The purchase appears to be an effort to increase its Prime Video streaming to help it compete with rivals such as Netflix and Walt Disney Co. By acquiring MGM, Amazon gains more than 4,000 films including key franchises such as James Bond and a strong TV catalog of 17,000 shows that includes The Handmaid’s Tale and more. Prime Video is an important element in Amazon’s customer retention strategy and gives consumers value to stay with Amazon’s membership program.

Other entertainment companies are not waiting around to see what happens. Discovery announced a $43 billion deal to merge with WarnerMedia after a spinoff from AT&T. Sports content also has Amazon’s attention – it signed a deal with the NFL to broadcast Thursday Night Football in 2022.

What will you watch next?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show a news video describing the Amazon purchase: https://youtu.be/msEU9hR6YP0
  3. Which strategy is Amazon using by purchasing MGM? Why?
  4. Discuss with class: Why did Amazon purchase MGM?
  5. Which competitors will be most pressed by this acquisition? Why?
  6. Discuss how grocery retailers will compete with the combined Amazon/MGM?
  7. How can these companies market their services to compete with the company?
  8. Is the MGM acquisition a good move by Amazon?

Source: Associated Press; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Subway Wins Big on Product Placement

If a brand wants to get a customer’s attention, marketers know that there is no substitute for showing the customer how a product fits into real lives in the real world. And to show a lot of prospective consumers this at one time, brands need to show them the product on a large scale such as in a television show or a movie. This can be globally, not just in the U.S.

Take Subway’s experience in South Korea. South Korea prevents TV stations from inserting commercial breaks into programs. This limitation has caused many companies to get very creative in how they showcase their wares. As a result, Subway has placed its products, stores, and logos in at least 17 different shows. And, when the shows eventually get released on Netflix, millions more viewers will see Subway product placements.

A U.S. show, Cobra Kai, began on YouTube but moved to Netflix distribution last summer. The product placements in that show reached consumers who don’t usually watch network TV, but will stream shows, where advertising is either scarce or expensive. Top product placements on Cobra Kai were Coors, Mercedes Benz, and Dell.

Product placement has grown to more than $10 billion a year in the U.S. as brands search for new ways to reach consumers. Streaming is now estimated to account for nearly 25% of total TV viewing. While there are times that the product is very noticeable (such as BMW cars in James Bond movies), there are many times when products are used subtly (but still get our attention).Companies that are able to get their products shown on the big screen – or even a small screen – bring their products to the attention of millions of viewers, all of whom have opted-in to watching a show or movie.

What products catch your eye?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss product placement as a promotional tactic.
  2. Show BEN website: https://ben.productplacement.com/
  3. Ask students to name their three TV shows and/or movies that they recently viewed.
  4. Next, ask them to name at least three products that they can recall seeing in the show. Were those products there by accident?
  5. Show a video clip of one of the TV shows or movies. Most clips can easily be found on www.hulu.com, www.youtube.com, and other sites.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team choose two products they would like to have placed in a TV show.
  7. How would these products be incorporated? What is the desired result?

Source:  AdWeek; Media Daily News; New York Times

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