What is Netflix’s marketing strategy?

Letters Netflix showing photos of popcorn, Netflix button on the remote, and Netflix app from the app store
Letters Netflix showing photos of popcorn, Netflix button on the remote, and Netflix app from the app store


Running a successful IPTV/OTT service requires great content, a solution with premium UX and then a great OTT marketing strategy that will bring subscribers. But, how to start? What strategy and approach to choose? What does my service need to have to give me a better insight into who my existing and potential subscribers are? Where do I need to target my subscribers?

Here, we will not reinvent the wheel but look at what the market leader is doing and what might be useful for your business case. Netflix has been a market leader in the video streaming industry for well over a decade.

Let’s have a look at the strategy that has kept them on the top since the early 2000s.

One thing is sure, they understand the importance of the role of their marketing strategy that keeps them on the top, and they are constantly increasing their budget to keep it that way.

In 2021, according to Statista, Netflix spent around 2.55 billion U.S. dollars on marketing activities, with around US$1.7 billion being spent on advertising. Such spending allows them to cover all the available cross-channel communication globally, reaching people not just online but offline as well.

OTT Analytics and Personalization

What sets Netflix apart from the competition is its personalized, customer-centric approach, giving the users the feeling that Netflix is speaking directly to them. How are they able to do that, you might wonder? With over 220 million subscribers they are continuously collecting vast amounts of data on the use of their OTT service from which they get complete profiles of user behavior. This data represents the basis for their marketing activities.

OTT data analytics is an essential part of any OTT solution and is an invaluable asset in managing the service itself as well as creating customer-focused marketing activities. Adding a powerful recommendation engine that can utilize this collected information to offer highly personalized content will keep subscribers engaged.

You have probably heard about A/B testing when it comes to websites wanting to analyze which layout is preferred by the users. Now imagine those tests being done 250 times a year with the app’s layout and flow and you get a plethora of information that will help you fine-tune your service to fit each specific user. That is what Netflix does and that’s how they stay ahead of the game.

Image of a man sitting on a soda and watching Netflix OTT service
Man watching Netflix OTT service


Netflix will communicate with you wherever they can find you, be it on mobile devices, smart TVs, or laptops. They are on all social media utilizing them to serve their purpose. From Snapchat to LinkedIn their messages are there with one single interest, to bring you to the platform and to engage in their content. However, they don’t approach all social media the same way but with rather differentiated messages from platform to platform. Obviously, on LinkedIn, the communication will be more business professional than on Snapchat because the audience is different too.

Also, with such a huge base of users (even the ones who stopped using it) they have the option to communicate directly to their subscribers making sure to keep them engaged and influence churn directly. Again, the key here is personalization which is based on machine learning and segmentation of clients based on their viewing habits and previous engagements with their newsletters. Email marketing is still considered to be the most ROI-efficient way of communicating with your users.

Brand Image

Content is extremely important for the subscriber, and so is the user experience of using the service. However, for a global company such as Netflix, its brand image does have a huge impact on its users. So, using the internally collected data from the service usage and marketing activities combined with the awareness of the social topics people are passionate about and if you implement that info into your content strategy and marketing strategy your brand image will reach new heights. There is a reason why you can see much more environment-related content on their service with the direct message to “Save the planet”.


Netflix’s marketing strategy is to collect information on every aspect of OTT service usage, use machine learning and AI to create profiles and different groups of users, then create as personalized messages as possible and then cover every possible channel of communication to get in touch with existing and potential subscribers. All the while, they keep refining and fine-tuning the application to create an engaging experience that will induce user emotions thus creating a much stronger connection with subscribers.

If you operate or plan to operate an OTT service, first take a look at the information you are collecting from your service. Are you getting enough quality information to better understand your subscribers? Are you able to create a personalized experience for them? Can you create a marketing strategy that will cater to those groups of existing and potential subscribers efficiently? What can you do to make sure that you will stand out from the competition in the process? You can apply Netflix’s strategy on a scale to make sure you build up your brand image, personalize communication with your subscribers and create a successful OTT service.

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Being a web developer, writer, and blogger for five years, Jade has a keen interest in writing about programming, coding, and web development.