In probably the least digital move it has made in recent years, Netflix is reportedly an active bidder to be the next owner of billboard company Regency Outdoor Advertising, and is willing to part with as more than $300 million for the privilege.
Regency is owned by two brothers, Drake and Brian Kennedy and has billboards along Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, lining major freeways and in locations near the UCLA campus, Los Angeles International Airport and Dodger Stadium.
According to Reuters, Netflix is not the only bidder for the company and any talks could fall through. But if successful, it would be Netflix’s biggest acquisition to date and only the second in its history – the first being the 2017 purchase of comic book publisher Millarworld. The SVOD company already leases several Regency billboards for its original series Stranger Things and The Crown.
Owning a billboard company isn’t as big a stretch as it would seem. Netflix has been increasing in its marketing push for its shows – it expected to spend about $2 billion on marketing in 2018, a 54% increase from last year according to MoffettNathanson senior analyst Michael Nathanson. Although it is still the SVOD leader, Netflix is facing increasingly stiffer competition from Amazon, Hulu and the Walt Disney Co., the latter of which is planning to launch its ESPN+ OTT product on April 13.
“As the marketplace for original content becomes more crowded, Netflix is turning up the volume to promote the increasing number of Netflix originals,” Nathanson wrote in a recent report.
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