Netflix plans to open physical locations named “Netflix Houses” where customers will be able to shop, play and interact, immersing themselves in some of their favorite Netflix shows. These permanent locations highlight the company’s long-term strategy to create a new level of engagement and interaction between the shows it produces and its fans.
Netflix Will Offer Retail Theater At Its Finest
The streaming giant plans to open its first two Netflix Houses in the U.S. in 2025, offering merchandising, food and show-related activities. Allowing entertainment and retail to merge, these physical spaces are paving the way for a new type of fan interaction. After testing physical retail with pop-ups through Netflix Bites, a temporary dining pop-up inspired by its culinary shows that opened in L.A this past June, the brand seems convinced there is a lot of potential with in-person events. “Netflix is already a destination for beloved food programming, from documentaries to competition shows,” Josh Simon, VP of Consumer Products, said in a press release. “From episode to entrée, with Netflix Bites we are creating an in-person experience where fans can immerse themselves in their favorite food shows.” This initiative showcased an interest from the company to offer in-person experience to Netflix users, giving it the opportunity to test an idea that is becoming part of a longer-term strategy.
Netflix has also created temporary pop-ups in the past year to celebrate some of its most popular shows in various countries including Japan, where mainstream fandom is particularly strong. In May, the “Only on Netflix” event recreated the settings on various shows including Stranger Things and Emily in Paris to allow individuals to experience and immerse themselves in the shows, through decor, curated playlists and food. Now, the intention to take this type of initiative becomes stronger with the announcement of Netflix Houses, as they are set to become permanent retail spaces.
A Way To Monetize On Fandom Through Exclusive Merchandising And Events
Increasingly, we have seen Netflix collaborate with global brands for the release of exclusive merchandising: French apparel brand Lacoste released a Stranger Things line, while non-alcoholic beer brand Athletic Brewing released a brew inspired by characters from The Witcher. The company has ramped up its merchandising strategy as a way to unlock a new revenue stream, with as many as 75 brand partnerships done to promote the third season of Stranger Things. Now, the streaming leader has its merchandising website where it sells various products inspired by some of its most popular shows, which will most likely be sold at Netflix Houses.
The global success of many Netflix shows also means that there is money to be made at scale from fans around the world binging on shows and demonstrating definite fandom. Earlier this year, Netflix launched The Queen’s Ball: a Bridgerton Experience, an immersive event where ticket holders dress like the characters in the show and enjoy a unique ball, as if they were right in the show’s decor. Ranging from $45 to $85 for a ticket, this experience was released in various cities and represents a lucrative marketing tactic that boosted the engagement of Netflix users and awareness of the show.