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“Content is king” is a common refrain from brands and loyalty marketers that we speak with on a daily basis.
That targeted content drives the customer engagement train and magnifies customer experience and brand loyalty.
At Netflix, the goal is to get bigger and better and do it on a global scale.
In his April 17 letter to shareholders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company surpassed $2.5 billion in quarterly streaming revenue during the first quarter and added five million members.
“The opportunity provided to us by the growth of the global internet is gigantic and our plan is to keep investing as we increase membership, revenue, and operating margins,” the letter says.
With a growing global member base, Netflix offers a wide breadth of content. The key releases this past quarter highlight this range of programming: A Series of Unfortunate Events, a dark comedy for the entire family, Santa Clarita Diet, a zom-com starring Drew Barrymore, and Ultimate Beastmaster. Netflix will also unveil the company’s first competition show that pits athletes from around the globe against a fearsome 600-foot obstacle course.
What’s more, Netflix debuted Marvel’s Iron Fist and launched Ingobernable, starring Kate del Castillo, its second Mexican series. On the last day of the first quarter, Netflix unveiled 13 Reasons Why.
Netflix has also invested more in stand-up comedy.
“Early results are promising,” the letter says. “The triumphant return of a comedy legend in Dave Chappelle: Collection 1 was our most viewed comedy special ever. We are also finding this to be true in international markets as well, with comedian Gad Elmaleh’s Gad Gone Wild, a breakout hit in France last quarter. Just ahead of the release of our third film from Adam Sandler, Sandy Wexler, we announced the renewal of our deal with Sandler to premiere an additional four films exclusively on Netflix around the world. We continue to be excited by our Sandler relationship and our members continue to be thrilled with his films. Since the launch of The Ridiculous 6, Netflix members have spent more than half a billion hours enjoying the films of Adam Sandler.”
In his letter, Hastings praised the Netflix product team, which runs a plethora of tests “in the endless quest for even higher member satisfaction. One test that won conclusively last year and has now been rolled out to all members is our new thumbs-up, thumbs-down feedback model, replacing the five-star model we have had from our DVD days. The amount of usage we get with this new approach is over twice as many ratings. With this additional personal input, we’ll be able to improve personalization, making your front screen on Netflix even more relevant.”
Netflix officials plan to spend more than $1 billion in marketing this year to drive member acquisition.
“As part of this, we are investing more in programmatic advertising with the aim of improving our ability to do individualized marketing at scale and to deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time,” the letter says. “Buttressing this activity is the substantial earned media coverage around the Netflix brand, technology, and content we generate globally through events and activities aimed at journalists and social media influencers. We also market our content extensively to members through our service and with our partners. We remain incredibly excited about the opportunity in front of us to build a truly global and durable internet TV business. We expect to cross the 100-million member mark this weekend. It’s a good start.”
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