Netflix deepens Samsung relationship through content exclusives

Netflix remote control image
Netflix is still growing, but subscriber additions in the U.S. have begun showing signs of plateauing. (Pixabay)

Netflix is cozying up closer to Samsung through newly announced deals for content exclusives and deeper device integration.

According to TechCrunch, the new deals were announced this week at Samsung’s Unpacked event. Samsung device users will be able to use Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, to launch the Netflix app. Netflix will also generate recommendations for Samsung users and will be integrated more closely with Samsung Daily, the company’s discovery platform.

“The mission of this partnership [is] to make the Netflix viewing experience on Samsung mobile the absolute best it can be,” said Netflix CMO Jackie Lee-Joe during the event.

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Samsung device owners will now be getting access to exclusive bonus material from Netflix. This will include behind-the-scenes content from Netflix series including “Narcos: Mexico,” “Sintonia,” “Elite,” and “Netflix is a Joke.”

While Netflix is putting up walls between some subscribers and the Samsung exclusive content, it’s opening up other content to everyone, including non-subscribers. From now through March 9 in the U.S., Netflix will make its 2018 film “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” free to watch online. The timing coincides with the Feb. 12 release of the film’s sequel and is clearly designed to drive new subscribers to the platform.

Netflix is still growing, but subscriber additions in the U.S. have begun showing signs of plateauing. During the previous quarter, the company said it added 550,000 streaming subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, lower than the company’s 589,000 guidance and 611,000 consensus on Wall Street. However, global paid net additions totaled 8.76 million (mostly on pace with 8.84 million in the year-ago quarter), which came in well ahead of the company’s 7.6 million forecast.

Netflix said that its lower-than-expected growth in the U.S. and Canada can be partly attributed to new competitors like Disney+ and Apple TV+ entering the market.