- Netflix is getting into the radio business through a new partnership with SiriusXM, a first for the video streaming giant, according to a company announcement. Starting April 15, "Netflix Is A Joke Radio" channel will feature audio material from comedians that have done standup specials or original TV shows and movies on the platform.
- "Netflix Is A Joke Radio" will include both highlights from existing Netflix comedy shows as well as original audio material and daily shows featuring comedians and celebrities. The deal includes names like Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman, among others.
- Additionally, Netflix is in talks to acquire its first brick-and-mortar movie theater, the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevar, according to Deadline. The streaming platform also is planning to publish an industry journal ahead of this year's Emmy Awards, Bloomberg reports.
While Netflix is still a dominant force, the streaming powerhouse faces increasing competition in the streaming space. The company continues to dominate the subscription video streaming business by user numbers, but the industry is growing crowded with competition from Amazon, Apple TV and, soon, Disney. Amazon Prime now counts some 100 million subscribers. Apple TV has a new streaming service and Netflix has discontinued its app support on the service, meaning that consumers can no longer use the Netflix apps on their phones to control their Apple TV.
The partnership with SiriusXM signals that Netflix is ramping up to become a broader entertainment company as it looks to compete in this now populated marketplace. SiriusXM counts more than 34 million subscribers, a large audience to get its new audio content in front of, particularly as many of SiriusXM subscribers listen to content in their cars, a location that people don't typically stream videos. As TechCrunch points out, the radio platform offers Netflix access to an ideal demographic of consumers that are already willing to pay for a subscription to access exclusive programming.
Likewise, reports Netflix moving into the brick-and-mortar theater business and publishing an industry journal in print demonstrate that the streaming platform is serious about its larger plans. Both are offline engagements that could present opportunities for marketers, which are not present on its flagship, ad-free streaming service.
Meanwhile, Disney is launching its own Disney Plus streaming service in November, The Wall Street Journal reported. This means dropping its partnership with Netflix, guaranteeing it will siphon some of Netflix's business. While Netflix counts 139 million subscribers and continues to add new members, many of these new users are from international regions. Netflix must look for new ways to remain viable in its large U.S. market, and the audio business is an untapped industry for the company as it looks to differentiate itself and provide more variety in its entertainment offerings.