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  • Writer's pictureOmri Yaniv


By Ami Murphy Iannone, Creative Director - May 02, 2018

Netflix continues to re-invent video

The LA Times recently reported that sources indicate media juggernaut Netflix could begin purchasing physical movie theaters.

Those who dismiss the idea as folly by saying “theaters are dying” or “this is a backwards step” are choosing to ignore the two smartest aspects of the move: ushering Netflix further into the experiential marketing scene and allowing Netflix’s content to be competitive with that of serious auteurs, thus upping brand value in a big way.

Netflix notoriously drove viewers away from network TV, but that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to the experiential culture that made network TV thrive for so long. For decades families gathered around their television all together at 8pm to watch their favorite show, or listen to the national news anchor deliver urgent news about the country. The recent phenomenon of “Netflix and Chill” --regardless of any scandalous implications-- is a return to the non-isolating ritual of enjoying programming together. It follows that Netflix would take the next step towards bringing people together. 

Amazon has similarly come full circle by announcing that they’ll be opening up storefronts in select cities. Even Amazon’s level of convenience can’t trump the experience of selecting delicious items at the grocery store.

Besides being a smart brand move to cater to the Millennial and Gen Z thirst for experiences, this also allows Netflix to elevate the perception of their content. In the past, films created by the studios have been excluded from consideration at major film festivals because they lack the ability to release films on screen.

The report from the Times comes on the heels of Netflix removing its films from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival over a debate about theatrical releases. Cannes reinstated a rule declaring all competition films have to open theatrically in France, which goes against Netflix’s business method and therefore makes them ineligible for the Palme d’Or. (via IndieWire)

2017’s Mudbound had an impressive run at the Oscars but other films from the studio have failed to garner the same following. A marketer can’t help but think that it would be smart to create a little scarcity around these titles… Making the films available only in theaters before releasing to the streaming platform could help build up the chatter they need to enter awards conversations. The ability to submit to Cannes will allow the ever-improving films, documentaries, and series created by the studio to enter into the circles of serious artistic discussion.

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