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Netflix Merchandise: Marketing + Intellectual Property
Por:  Abraham González

Marketing or, more specifically, merchandising, basically refers to a strategy that uses the image of a proprietary product to encourage its sale. In the words of David Guiu, it is "all processes or techniques that seek to promote the sales of a product through its presentation. In short, the strategic location of the products at the point of sale that encourages impulse buying, recall and other aspects that affect the consumer’s decision to purchase.” [1]

Elements of films or television shows such as names, logos, characters, among others, are elements that, when considered as a property, require a license agreement if they are intended to be legally exploited by third parties and must fulfill all current Intellectual Property laws, where the licensor will agree with the manufacturer of merchandise or licensee the consensual use of these properties, and both will make a profit.

This is precisely what Netflix, the audiovisual company, is studying to do in order to generate additional revenue. Bloomberg reports that “the entertainment company plans to enter the merchandising business to help market hit programs to a wider audience. In this regard, Netflix has already conducted one test with Hot Topic, which sold shirts, mugs, caps and jewelry tied to the series “Stranger Things.” “We are pursuing consumer products and associated promotion because we believe it will drive meaningful show awareness/buzz with more tangible, curated ways to interact with our most popular content,” Netflix said in a posting. “We want licensed merchandise to help promote our titles so they become part of the zeitgeist for longer periods of time.” Consumer products and merchandise are the latest example of Netflix’s evolution from a technology company selling other people’s programming to a media company that produces, owns and licenses intellectual property." [2]

Therefore, the marketing of intellectual property is a tool that, used under the correct terms, can be highly profitable and beneficial to the parties involved, because it aims at raising the product’s levels of acceptance and preference among consumers, by merging the concepts of both disciplines (marketing + IP) to transform a brand into a more popular and attractive product.


[1] Guiu, D. Qué es el merchandising. Retrieved from http://www.socialetic.com/que-es-el-merchandising.html, on February 11, 2017.
[2] Diario El Economista. Netflix estudia entrar en el negocio del merchandising para generar ingresos adicionales. Retrieved from http://www.eleconomista.es/tecnologia/noticias/8143807/02/17/Netflix-estudia-entrar-en-el-negocio-del-merchandising-para-generar-ingresos-adicionales.html, on February 11, 2017.

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