Streaming service to promote itself in print and showcase its own films at Egyptian Theatre
Netflix is considering launching its own print magazine and buying a historic Los Angeles cinema to showcase its productions as part of its continuing attempts to be fully accepted by the US film industry – and win more awards in the process.
The streaming service is reportedly looking to launch a quarterly publication to promote its own shows and their stars, tentatively named Wide, which would feature programmes that could have been overlooked.
However, the publication won’t be available to the general public, according to Bloomberg News. Instead it will be distributed at industry events where tastemakers and individuals who vote for television and film awards might be found.
“In preparation for a groundbreaking year in film and television, Netflix has gathered some of the most talented and sought-after writers and photographers, thinkers and creatives to make the inaugural issue of Wide, the Netflix print journal,” reportedly said one email describing the project, which has attracted the involvement of former Vanity Fair staff.
Netflix is increasingly producing its own content to promote its shows, whether through its social media channels or producing its own podcasts.
The print publication is part of Netflix’s continuing efforts to transform its dominance of the online streaming market, where it has 139 million paying subscribers worldwide, into cultural respectability. It has poured money into making hundreds of original TV series and films, some of which have been critically panned while others have become acclaimed hits, but has sometimes faced a battle for recognition.
Last year it earned more Emmy nominations – handed out for the best US television programmes – than any other network. But it has struggled to win the top awards and has been criticised by industry veterans because of its business model and approach to releasing and promoting programmes.
Awards campaigns are expensive, complicated operations that involve carefully pitched messages to a small group of eligible voters. Last year Netflix’s Oscars promotion helped Roma to win a large number of awards but it missed out on best picture, which unexpectedly went to Green Book.
Netflix has also faced criticism from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Helen Mirren, who have voiced their fears that the service could kill the tradition of going to see a new release in a cinema surrounded by other people.
In response, the deep-pocketed company has found a new way to show its commitment to physical cinemas: entering talks to buy the historic Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard to showcase its new releases.