Free Movies for All: Netflix’s Brand-New PR Strategy and More
By Hazal Senkoyuncu
While the streamers have been frustrated about the unconventional yet so-called original Netflix content on the service, the latest update suggests that the company decided to put the original content at the center of its advertising strategy. The Netflix original movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved (2018) recently surprised streamers with a sequel, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020). The film attracted viewers due to many aspects; the most influential factors were the film’s rom-com nature and its representation of a Korean American as the lead actor whom viewers resonated with. Variety stated that the film was one of Netflix’s “most viewed original films ever”, and Netflix expects the film to become a rom-com canon.
So, Netflix does something unexpected—the company made the first film available from Feb 11th to March 9th. Netflix has employed similar marketing strategies in other countries; however, making this one exclusive to its US viewers. This means the viewers can watch the film without a subscription for almost a month. In other words, the streaming leader expects the viewers to subscribe to watch the second movie. Smart? The upcoming data will review whether such a move will show a significant increase in Netflix’s subscriber rates.
While Netflix may have grown in other countries, it does not have enough streamers in the US region according to the latest earnings call. In fact, the company doesn’t expect an increased number of subscribers in 2020—likely because of the new competition in the market as well as its increased monthly rate.
Apple TV+, a fairly new service (launched November 1, 2019), did play well with the older giants like Netflix (2002) and Amazon Prime Video (2006). Upon its release, the service launched the highly advertised series, The Morning Show (2019) with a strong Hollywood ensemble (including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell). In addition, Apple Inc. currently offers free streaming to its new product owners whether they purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV! Those who purchase a new device get 1 year free while the rest of the Apple users get a trial period that consists of 7 days. It is a good deal, that reminds us of the PR strategy of Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video currently offers a one-year trial period to its Amazon Prime users. Amazon Prime is a paid service within Amazon’s shopping brand; its main benefits are free shipping and shorter delivery periods. Amazon regularly offers discounts for the Prime membership (for the shopping brand). Students can periodically (as offered) sign up for the free Amazon Prime benefits, which automatically allows them to enjoy Amazon Prime Video as long as their Amazon Prime trial or membership is valid. Yes, you can watch Marvelous Ms. Maisel (2017—) and get free shipping on your next unnecessary purchase at the same time.
Disney+ isn’t as aggressive as the rest of its competition. Upon its launch in the selected region, Disney+ offers a 7-day trial—and, that is it. There are however other distribution deals that may benefit a limited number of customers. The Telecommunications Company, Verizon offers one free year of Disney+ to its Wireless Unlimited customers. In addition, Disney has an unusual deal with Amazon. According to Bob Iger, Amazon Fire TV devices will carry Disney+, however, the service will not, of course, be free of charge.
To recap it all, Netflix is currently offering a free rom-com chick flick to its rapidly decreasing US audience. Amazon Prime Video follows the same PR strategy as its Prime shopping service, and Disney+ is set to widen its audience effortlessly. Leave a comment below and let us know about the best strategy to motivate purchase of new streaming memberships.