Amazon Opens Stores -- So Should Netflix Take On Old-School Media Presence?

Amazon is opening up more physical book stores?

Don’t scratch your head too much. Consumers like to have a physical, real-life presence with brands they like, and who doesn’t like books?

The cruel irony is, Amazon’s historic rapid growth -- early on -- came with competitive physical bookstores like Borders going out of business.

By this example, other new digital media companies should do the same: Take on a physical presence -- or at least, an old-time media presence.

So, in that regard, Netflix should start a linear traditional TV network, cable or broadcast, complete with network promos -- and, yes, advertising.

Why? Line extension, widening its business segment. Even traditional media platforms still have value. So Netflix should take a chance at re-invention -- or perhaps the chance to mess up a bit.

Netflix has long been averse to carrying advertising on its subscription video-on-demand service. But it hasn’t said anything about starting advertising on a separate media platform. Hmmm....



Netflix could run a separate linear ad-supported TV network -- perhaps with lower-profile or acquired programming that it used to start its SVOD service. What would remain? Original programming. Netflix is well on its way to offer up wall-to-wall original programs, a development slate where it looks to spend some $6 billion.

This would be nothing new. USA Network still runs off-network reruns (see “Modern Family”) and TBS does the same (see “The Big Bang Theory”). Off-network, rerun TV programming has been a part of the TV industry since its inception. Don’t avoid this trend; embrace it.

There could be even more. Maybe after its traditional TV network launch Netflix could then go one better. Like Amazon, it should start up some physical stores. A new kind of “showroom” for TV programming.

This isn’t that strange. Some years back, ESPN and Discovery Communications had physical stores as well. There’s future merchandising to consider.

Netflix should continues to pursue all avenues, and maybe even get back to delivering video door to door. Not by mail -- but, riffing off a concept Amazon has played around with, it can bring video to consumers via drones.

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