Disney’s top competitor in the streaming wars will soon open “Netflix House” locations in the U.S., and the company plans to expand the new concept from there to include locations around the world.
Netflix fans have a range of options if they’re looking for streamable programming that’s themed around housing design, housing concepts, home improvement, home building, architecture, and the like. Five of these offerings make the top of the list: Abstract: The Art of Design, Grand Design, Amazing Interiors, Stay Here, and The World’s Most Extraordinary Houses.
But those home improvement, architecture, and home design shows on the Netflix streamer are completely different concepts from the newest planned offering from Disney’s stiffest competition in the streaming market.
A Planned Release of a Different Kind
According to Forbes, Netflix has plans for a completely different type of release–one that “sounds part-theme-park, part-diner, with both fast-food and high-end dining options, and part-clothing store.”
“We’ve seen how much fans love to immerse themselves in the world of our movies and TV shows, and we’ve been thinking a lot about how we take that to the next level,” Josh Simon, Netflix’s vice president of consumer products, said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Netflix has unveiled plans for new retail locations called “Netflix Houses.” Current plans call for the first locations to be opened in the United States in 2025, with additional locations to be opened around the globe at a later time.
Netflix Steps Into the “Real” World Again
The concept for the Netflix House is not the company’s first time to step into the physical world. Over the years, Netflix has held physical experiences themed to individual shows on the streamer. The attractions included Stranger Things: The Experience, The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience, and Money Heist: The Experience.
Each of the experiences was extremely successful, leading Netflix to launch another “physical” concept: a two-story pop-up experience in Los Angeles, California, in October 2022. The pop-up spot was dedicated to some of the streamer’s most popular titles, including Stranger Things, Bridgerton, and Squid Game. The shop kept its doors open until January 2023 and served as an immersive shopping experience that also featured life-size iterations of some of the Netflix streamer’s most popular characters.
“Following the incredible success and excitement from our fans for our immersive experiences around the globe, this felt like the most organic next step to continue our growth and bring Netflix’s most beloved shows together in a completely new way,” said Greg Lombardo, Netflix’s head of live experiences, of the pop-up experience at the time. “Celebrating our fans and giving them the opportunity to put themselves in the world of the stories they love is at the heart of what we do, and we’re thrilled to bring this experience to life at The Grove.”
Netflix Sees a Decline
News of the streamer’s new “Netflix Houses” comes at a time when the company is experiencing a decline in its market share and its share price. Per Forbes:
At the end of Q1 2023, its market share was 44.21%, down 5.56% from the same period the previous year. Its subscriber base grew in Q2, 2023, largely thanks to its password crackdown, but it failed to meet revenue expectations.
The streaming giant has historically relied on its subscription-based model to generate revenue, but as competition heats up in the streaming industry (from players like Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime), Netflix is beginning to look at diversifying its revenue streams.
The company is making a push into video games, launching the first tests for its cloud-streamed games, that let you play its titles on a TV or on the web, in August 2023. Its foray into physical stores looks to be an extension of its diversification efforts.
As of the time of this publication, no specific date has been announced for the opening of the first Netflix House. More information will be shared as it becomes available.