It’s no secret that Netflix is diversifying. In June, the company began expanding its podcasting footprint. Two weeks ago, the company picked up its first game studio as part of its new gaming initiative. Now the company is teaming up with a big retailer to sell merch from their biggest hits.
Netflix announced a partnership with Walmart on Monday, which will include plush toys, t-shirts, cassette players, and the like. The partnership will also include a feature that allows Netflix fans to vote on what merch they’d like to see.
This is a big step up from Netflix’s existing web store, the Netflix Shop, which launched in June. However, both are capitalizing on the popularity of “Squid Game”, “Stranger Things”, and other shows.
This model is no stranger to competitors like Disney and NBCUniversal, which have used physical merchandise to generate ancillary cash and boost their biz. However, it also speaks to another urgent need for Netflix: the need to remain relevant.
As other streaming platforms tune into Netflix’s frequency, the urgency to create profitable and popular content becomes more dire. Other competitors such as HBO Max, Prime Video, and Disney+ have found new momentum, catching up with the market leader.