Netflix is making a significant change to its marketing team, consolidating marketing under Ted Sarandos, the company’s Chief Content Officer.
The change follows the retirement of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett. Bennett had led Netflix’s marketing team for seven years, developing the launch strategy for the company’s original programming and its global expansion.
The company says Sarandos will lead the search for a new CMO, who will report to him. Bennett had reported to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Netflix has quietly become one of the biggest marketing spenders in the entertainment sector, set to top $2 billion this year. With hundreds of original shows and movies spread across the world, the company has turned to marketing -- both traditional and digital -- to drive awareness.
Netflix has indicated it expects to continue ramping up marketing spend as it rolls out new original shows.
The company has even become a major sponsor of traditional TV events, such as the Super Bowl, and last year bought 18 billboards around Los Angeles, which it uses to promote its shows, and for industry-targeted “For Your Consideration” Emmy ads.
On Tuesday, Bryant Park announced Netflix would become the presenting sponsor of its annual summer film series -- replacing HBO, the sponsor for more than 25 years.
Netflix spent $617 million on marketing in the first quarter of 2019, according to a regulatory filing -- $80 million more than it spent in the same
quarter in 2018.