Bloomberg reports that Netflix plans to open new bricks-and-mortar retail locations that will combine retail, dining and live experiences, all keyed to programming on the streaming service.
The company plans to open two of the units, dubbed Netflix House, in 2025, and then roll out the format in succeeding years.
The story points out that "Netflix has been experimenting with pop-up fan experiences for a few years, and has introduced 40 in 20 cities around the world. They include The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, a night of drinks and dancing inspired by the period drama that has traveled to several cities, as well as a pop-up Netflix store at the Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles.
"Netflix House will be the company’s first permanent locations, a sign of its growing investment in marketing its programs and in building communities of fans around them."
Netflix isn't exactly a pioneer in the space: "For years, media companies have used theme-park rides, costumes, toys and other consumer products to promote their characters and generate additional cash. This business is new to Netflix, whose marketing efforts have sometimes been criticized as inadequate by film and TV producers. Management views Netflix House more as a way to promote its titles than as a meaningful source of revenue, at least for now."
- KC's View:
I have two reactions.
First, the Bloomberg story says that "Netflix House will have rotating installations, including ticketed shows inspired by popular series and restaurants featuring food from unscripted shows. The food and drinks will range from fast casual – think burgers and fries – to more high-end dining, desserts and spirits."
I read that, and I wonder if at some level Netflix wants this format to be all things to all people - which is a very hard thing to do.
Second, I can't wait for the themed food/experience based on "Fair Play," the new and very good erotic thriller now on Netflix. That'll be a trip. (I review "Fair Play" in OffBeat this morning.)