By now, almost anyone who lives a relatively normal social life will have heard of Netflix, the online streaming site which allows subscribers to watch their favourite TV shows, documentaries and movies. If you haven’t maybe you should crawl out from under your rock.
The company was formed in 1997 and has grown from strength to strength over the past two decades. They are the leading internet streaming network worldwide with over 83 million subscribers in over 190 countries streaming over 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Both original shows were debuted as full seasons with no pilot episode which is highly risky and took hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. It paid off though with both series achieving multiple Emmy nominations in their first seasons, a first for online series. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or interference.
The Target Market
Netflix’s primary target market started as American men and women aged between 25-34 years old who have access to internet, have an average household income above $50,000, have at least a bachelor’s degree, and have children. however after the vast growth of the brand over the past few years and the platforms expansion into almost 200 countries, the demographic has shifted to a much broader market which would be defined as men and women with regular internet accessibility, medium to high monthly income and generally up to date with modern technology, culture and general societal trends.
The campaign for House of Cards is a great example of how Netflix have used their unique business model and access to customer information to identify what particular type of show will attract their target market, result in success and further broaden their market share. In an effect to personalise marketing and create a more unique user experience, Netflix identified 10 different target segments and created personalised trailers for the new season of House of Cards and distributed them to the profile of the users whom fell into one of the identified categories through analyzing user history and website behaviour. In addition to this, a customer interaction campaign was launched with posters of lead characters’ faces from the series placed around major cities allowing Snapchat users to Face Swap with them.
Furthermore, by taking advantage of the political climate in the USA at the moment with huge coverage regarding Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the animosity between the Republicans and Democrats, Netflix used the hashtag #FU2016 which relates to presidential character Frank Underwood played by Kevin Spacey. This hashtag encouraged user interaction within the political debate and added a way to broaden the salience of the show.
This campaign heralded a major success for the show and for Netflix. About 2% of U.S. subscribers finished the entire second season by the end of it’s first weekend online. That works out to about 668,000 people and an estimated four times as many subscribers binge-watched the entire second season when compared to Season 1. House of Cards also released a bunch of infographics on their official Twitter, stating what the most drank beverage was whilst watching the show (beer, of course) and also showing tweeters’ preferences of the characters.
All in all, the show is a complete success. With an IMDB rating of 9/10 and a well constructed and creative marketing plan, the show is taking over along with Netflix’s reign of streaming services.