Netflix’s latest attempt to grab talent and viewing figures from Hollywood sees the streaming giant buy up perhaps the most sought-after real estate in the movie business - its billboards.
Netflix may boast the latest algorithms, adaptive bitrate technology, 4K and HDR quality footage but this time there’s a reliance on good old paper to get its message across.
In all, Netflix has said to have taken ownership of some 35 billboards on Sunset Strip and there’s talk of it also owning a number of other billboards in Hollywood, namely those around the Dolby Theatre - where the Oscars takes place.
The location of these billboards have, for obvious reasons, been carefully chosen. Sunset Strip is packed with actors, producers, directors and Hollywood is, well, Hollywood. There really isn’t a better way to advertise yourself as the future of movies and TVs than having building high posters of your latest IP slathered across Tinseltown
Billions and billboards
Netflix is having a huge year that is only going to get bigger. It’s spending billions on content, has some 700 bits of original programming in the pipeline and is churning out movies and shows faster than it can actually promote them.
This has been an issue for Netflix - its under-promotion of great movies like Annihilation and over promotion of not-so great movies like Bright and The Cloverfield Paradox (opens in new tab) points to a company that is still testing the waters when it comes to how it get eyes on the huge amount of stuff it’s releasing.
The flip of this is that it needs talent and still has to prove to some that it’s a legitimate place to grow and nurture talent. While the likes of Martin Scorsese are fully on board the Netflix train, it still has some big-name detractors like Chris Nolan and Helen Mirren. And there’s the on-going spat with Cannes that has painted Netflix as a rival, not a companion, to cinema.