Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Remember, billboards are the billboards of the 21st Century

We've been over this before (repeatedly). Virtually every story you read or hear about Netflix -- whether it's a review of a new show, an interview with a star, or a report on an award -- is largely the product of a massive PR campaign. One of the key components of that campaign is the relentless carpet-bombing of LA with billboards and bus signs.

Admittedly, everyone plays this game, but not to the same degree. Among the major networks, spending seems inversely related to success. Little for CBS, more for NBC, but none of them spend that much. Certain cable networks (AMC, FX, TNT) maintain a big presence as do the pay channels (HBO et al.). The biggest players per show and perhaps overall are the streaming services with Netflix leading the pack. 

I knew  a huge amount of money was being spent on this, but I didn't realize it was this huge. [emphasis added]

Netflix is offering $300 million to acquire Regency Outdoor Advertising, a company that owns the familiar billboards along Sunset Strip, at Los Angeles International Airport and near the UCLA campus, Reuters reports.

The streaming TV giant plans to increase spending on marketing its original shows and movies to $2 billion this year, amid growing competition from technology companies such as, Facebook and Hulu, as well as from traditional media companies like Disney that are investing in their own streaming services.

Billboards are clearly part of Netflix’s promotional arsenal, with Sunset Boulevard adorned with images touting Stranger Things and The Crown.  Should the transaction be completed, HBO and Showtime would seemingly need to look for other locations to promote its shows.

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