Netflix Making Moves into Licensed Merchandise

Netflix released official 'Stranger Things' apparel last year.

Netflix released official ‘Stranger Things’ apparel last year.

Netflix currently has a lot of cash to throw around, and the streaming service is apparently looking to diversify or perhaps build upon its current business model. Rumors began circulating earlier this month that comments made by Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos might indicate that the company is even considering building its own Hollywood studio complex for producing its original films and series. Now, Netflix is apparently eyeing another major global market for its next venture: officially licensed Netflix merchandise.

Speculation of Netflix merchandise when the company posted a job listing on its website earlier this year looking for a Director of Licensing, Merchandising and Promotion. Job requirements include implementing a “category strategy for growth through mass retail” and “licensing of our content across the category landscape (eg. books, comics, gaming toys, collectibles, soundtrack and apparel) including ownership of relationship with retailers and suppliers across geographies.” Apparently, dominating the streaming video market just isn’t enough: Netflix wants toys.

After Netflix stuck its toe in to test the merchandise waters with its line of Stranger Things t-shirts, mugs, and accessories last year, analysts began hinting that Netflix could be potentially sitting on a billion-dollar goldmine. Couple that with the recent job listing, and it’s easy to guess that Netflix tchotchkes and mugs are soon going to be all the rage on cubicle desks everywhere. According to Forbes magazine, the move into merch might be an attempt to try and offset the massive costs the company is racking up producing its original content. According to some industry reports, investors are worried that Netflix’s spending means the streaming service won’t actually turn a cash profit for some time.

Nevertheless, Netflix continues its steady march of acquiring new subscribers. If you want those subscribers to stick around for the long haul, you’ve got to build a brand. What better way to do that than with Jessica Jones action figures or Orange is the New Black prison pajamas?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley

Brett lives at the foot of the ancient Appalachian mountains in Asheville, North Carolina and writes about technology, science, and culture.
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Brett Tingley