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Media Entertainment

Netflix Hires Disney Executive to Build Consumer Products Business

Netflix hired an executive from Disney to build a consumer products team, suggesting the streaming service wants to build up revenue from toys and games out of its franchise shows. Christie Fleischer, who has been a retail and merchandising executive at Disney for a decade, will “lead a team focusing on developing the consumer products portfolio across all categories for Netflix original series and films,” the company said.

Netflix has some popular kids shows—such as StoryBots—that have already spun off some merchandise and books. That may have prompted Netflix to try and cash in directly. Its a competitive market. Aside from Disney, whose iconic characters gives it a huge edge, Viacom has been in the market for years now through its Nickelodeon characters.

For Netflix, which has made a virtue out of its single minded business focus, this might appear a diversification. But that interpretation is undercut by where Ms. Fleischer sits in the organizational chart. She is reporting to a marketing vice president, Shauna Spenley, who in turn reports to CMO Kelly Bennett. That suggests this is more a marketing tactic than anything significant. 

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