Building upon the growth of its original content brands, leading streaming company Netflix has announced a new online store, Netflix.shop, to promote its shows, generate new revenue streams, and further engage its audience. Netflix is aiming to combine “curated products and rich storytelling in a uniquely Netflix shopping experience.”
The company said new products will release on the shop on a “regular basis” and that the first wave includes streetwear and action figures based on two anime series, Yasuke and Eden, along with limited-edition apparel and decorative items inspired by Lupin in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre. Other products that are coming soon will be based on shows like The Witcher and Stranger Things, and the platform will also release its own branded apparel from Japanese fashion house BEAMS.
Video games, films, and comics often get the merchandise treatment. Studios including HBO, Warner Bros., Disney, and Universal have online storefronts, and now Netflix will leverage its own brand and shows in the same way. In fact, it’s somewhat surprising that it’s taken them this long to do so, especially given the platform’s efforts to leverage content brands that connect with users, such as those of popular video games.
“Original and exclusive content is the leading differentiator for streaming services and the primary focus of their customer acquisition strategies. Enabling fans to invest more deeply in these brands will tie users to the service more tightly,” said Brett Sappington, Vice President at Interpret. “Merchandise, particularly clothing, is a winner for video services. Essentially, when consumers buy and wear your merchandise, they are paying to help you grow your brand.”
Moreover, the company has been missing out on revenues tied to products sold without its blessing; Etsy, for example, sells numerous fan-made products related to the series Tiger King. The demand is already there, and it’s now Netflix’s opportunity to capitalize on an audience that’s eager to buy products related to IP they enjoy. According to Interpret’s VideoWatch™, while 40% of Americans use their smartphones to shop online, among Netflix subscribers that figure jumps to almost half (49%). Given that many people use their phones while watching TV, Netflix.shop has a lot of potential.