As the phenomenal growth of Netflix shows signs of easing relative to its rivals, the video streaming service is taking to the world of e-commerce with its own online shop.
On sale at Netflix.shop, the world’s biggest streaming service offers Netflix-logoed underpants, hoodies, necklaces and charms. Unlike a number of competitors, like HBO Max and Hulu, Netflix has no ads, its revenue reliant instead on the monthly fees paid by its 200 million-plus global users.
The move comes as the brand has made serious efforts to expand the retail side of its business over the last year, The New York Times points out.
Netflix’s consumer products team has grown from 20 to 60 people and the company has done deals with Walmart, Sephora, Amazon and Target to sell everything from clothes, and beauty kits, to toys and houseware products.
The new store, described as a “boutique”, will feature only a limited merchandise related to popular Netflix shows initially, with Lupin, a French crime series being featured later this month. Along with Lupin caps, hoodies and sweaters, the more dedicated fan will also be able to splash out on throw pillows at $60 each, and even a side table for $150. Day one will highlight products related to two anime series, Eden, and Yasuke. A clock incorporating the Yasuke character Haruto will be on sale for $135.
The shop is no doubt at least partly inspired by the fact that a demand was clearly not being met, at least not by Netflix – thousands of fan-made products linked to the hugely popular show Tiger King are selling on Etsy and other sites. Products include candles, face masks and greetings cards. None of these products are linked to Netflix officially.
Netflix has, however, teamed up with various clothing companies for individual products, such as a clothing and accessory line launched with H&M featuring the popular rom-com, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Official sales of merchandise linked to shows, films and fictional characters were worth an estimated $49 billion in the US in 2019, according to the trade group Licensing International. Globally, that figure was $128 billion. Dwarfing all other players was, of course, Disney.