You would certainly be forgiven if you failed to realize that Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) still sends its subscribers DVDs if asked. In fact, it remains a service, one that gave Netflix its life in infancy, that was once included in the membership price that 39 million people pay each month. The good old days.
Netflix celebrating the holidays
Last week saw Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) roll out its holiday mailers adorned with snowmen, and including both a wrapped gift and a candy cane. These will make way for envelopes with igloo dwelling penguins and Christmas lights during a week long run-up to the 25th. For those who still use the DVD delivery service, this is nothing new. Custom mailers were used this year for Mother’s Day, the Fourth of July and Memorial Day among others.
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Last week, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) started sending out DVDs to subscribers in holiday-themed envelopes, decorated with snowmen, a wrapped gift, a candy cane and, of course, Santa Claus himself. Envelopes with penguins and an igloo adorned with Christmas lights will run during the week of Christmas.
Holiday-themed mailers for Netflix are nothing new; this year the company celebrated , among other holidays, with custom mailers designed by a creative agency.
Halloween, however, saw Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) reach out to a longtime subscriber to put his stamp on the company’s design. Netflix is remembered by many as the company that once held a three-year contest with a million-dollar prize to any team that could best Netflix’s existing DVD recommendation algorithm by 10%. Additionally, Netflix has always encouraged doodling by its customers.
Netflix taps its users for good ideas
“People had been doodling on Netflix mailers for years,” said Jonathan Nail, Netflix’s senior marketing manager of DVD. “Usually in all the [DVD distribution centers] there’s a wall with mailers that have been doodled on.”
There’s even “Doodle Flix,” a Tumblr where people post pictures of their sketched-on envelopes. It’s from here that Netflix discovered the work of Timothy Hodge who is responsible for this year’s Christmas and Halloween mailers.
“I just wanted to create a bit of a mood,” Hodge said of his holiday work. “My favorite drawings have some sort of story to them — something’s just happened or something’s about to happen. Something’s going on off camera … you don’t see Santa but you see what’s going on. It’s happening while you sleep in bed.”
While Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is the dominant player in streaming video service, it still retains 7.15 million people who prefer their media delivered by mail and on DVD. That split was nearly the undoing of Reed Hastings, Netflix’s CEO. This despite the fact that movies are made available on DVD considerably quicker than they are available for streaming. While the United States hasn’t impressed me as patient for a number of years, it seems a number (millions) are willing to wait.
Obviously, for a company with share and stakeholders, these holiday envelopes are more than a novelty. The company is interested in seeing subscribers sign up for its DVD service.