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Netflix Cuts Out the Middleman, Ramps Up Digital Editorial Staff to 'Tell Its Own Stories'

Netflix's Hollywood headquarters
(Image credit: Verdical Group)

While glossy celebrity magazines and Hollywood trade pubs have traditionally been the transoms through which movie studios and TV networks have talked to their consumers, Netflix appears intent on telling its own stories.

Yes, the streaming company that essentially absorbed and assimilated much of the film and TV business could do the same thing to entertainment journalism, or what's left of it, anyway. 

Netflix is ramping up operations across social and digital publishing channels, hiring a small army of editorial workers. 

In June, Netflix made a splash when it announced the hiring of Allure Editor in Chief Michelle Lee to the new position of "VP of Editorial and Publishing." The position exists within Netflix's marketing group, with Lee reporting to chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John.

More recently, Netflix hired six web producers to work with groups of writers, asset managers and designers for an as-yet-publicly-disclosed digital publishing project being launched by Netflix's creative marketing team. 

Using a Contentful content management system (CMS), these web producers will coalesce a range of assets--articles, photos and multimedia elements--into a website(s) that will, in the words of one Netflix marketing insider, "tell our own story."

Meanwhile, a quick perusal of Netflix want ads on LinkedIn reveals openings for "Director, Editorial & Publishing, Genre Audiences," "Manager, Editorial & Publishing - Netflix Geeked," and "Manager, Editorial & Publishing - Creative Development & Planning - Talent."

Netflix didn't respond to an email request asking for more official details about any of the associated editorial projects. 

Certainly, across the social internet, Netflix already has a rapt digital audience for channels including "Netflix Family," the comedy-oriented "Netflix Is a Joke," the Black-creative-talent-focused "Strong Black Lead" and the recommendation-minded "What to Watch." 

On its editorial landing page, Netflix touts a social audience of 250 million social connections globally, with 150,000 new followers joining daily across platforms and 10 billion social impressions being created each day. 

The Twitter handle alone for enthusiasts-targeted "Netflix Geeked" has more than 476,000 followers.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Not only can Netflix use this large audience to communicate about its shows, it can also be leveraged do things like sell Netflix merchandise, an area the streaming company entered into earlier this year.