26 Mar

Netflix, Hulu Plus And The Marketing Game

Published in: Blog
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House of Cards On Netflix House of Cards On Netflix PBS.org

I have been a subscriber to Netflix for years but mostly only used it for getting that little red packet in the mail with a movie that I failed to go see in the theatre.  It wasn’t until about two years ago, coincidentally when my triathlon training picked up, did I realize that streaming was truly an option for me.  Not just streaming mind you but streaming shows that were on channels, like Showtime, that I did not pay for.


Let us not forget the fact that I no longer had to watch commercials on TV, thanks to my handy DVR but now I got to watch shows that other people were paying a premium for.  Why are you paying that premium?  So that you can see it in ‘real-time’?  Is that worth the extra money you spend?


I would say that it is not worth it as I can have discussions with friends about programs that they too are just catching up on through one of the services like Netflix or Hulu Plus.  We are avoiding higher fees and commercials but what is next?  That is what Netflix is answering right as I type this.  How are they answering that question?


House Of Cards


Have you seen the show yet?  It is West Wing on steroids and all Season 1 episodes are able to be streamed on Netflix.  Better yet is there are no commercials to have to zap past and from what I can see so far (I’m on episode 11 of 13) there are very few product placements.


Add to this the fact that GetGlue.com allows you to interact with fellow watchers of the show you are tuned into which could lead to promising discussion about a show and its characters.  In this case House of Cards provides a lot of different topics to discuss as the show moves without hesitation.


All of this is to say that Netflix is changing the way the marketing game is going to be played via the screen.  I can stream Netflix on my laptop, iPad, iPhone and TV so I really have no use for broadcast television unless I am going to watch sports.  How do marketers react to this and how do studios make changes?


Will we see more ads inside of the shows and if so how much will be too much before the audience turns it off?  I can see some natural product placement such as cereal or juice at the breakfast table.  Maybe a visit to a fast food restaurant to have a meeting.  In House of Cards Kevin Spacey’s character plays video games on the Sony Playstation PS3.  The opportunity is there and with that so is the changing of the game.


Imagine a world where you can watch television and speak with a friend across the globe about that same program and yet you get to watch it on your time and your own terms.  Marketers will have to be very ingenious to get into this world but what they won’t have to do is look far.  Social media is how they can market their goods without ‘marketing’ their goods.  Present the product in a show and watch the people talk about it via hashtags and the like.


It doesn’t end there though.  The brands must jump into conversations where natural and be a party to the growing world of marketing via social networking.  There may be a tweet that somebody posts regarding the Dawn dish cleaner on the counter and if Dawn is not paying attention they could lose an opportunity to engage an influencer.


Marketing is no longer just push, push, push but now involves a heavy dose of pull and when you combine the two you have the start to a strategy but you have to be there to be a participant.

Jason Bahamundi

Jason Bahamundi is a marketing specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas.  An MBA graduate from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY with a BS in Marketing from SUNY-Oswego Jason started his career in marketing in the television industry creating marketing plans for Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer, Clorox, Kraft and Darden Restaurants to name a few.

Jason is not only a marketing professional, but also an Ironman triathlete, which is to say that he knows no limits.  Being able to be creative on the fly is one of his assests and has benefited him and his clients along the way.

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