Starbucks, Netflix partner on book club-inspired content series

Starbucks, Netflix partner on book club-inspired content series

Dive Brief:

  • Starbucks and Netflix partnered on a monthly social content series entitled "But Have You Read the Book?," per a blog post by the coffee chain.

  • "Orange Is the New Black" star Uzo Aduba will have conversations with cast, creators and authors who have adapted books into films or television series on the streaming service. Episodes will be filmed at Starbucks locations in the U.S. and will air via the Still Watching Netflix YouTube channel and Netflix's U.S. Facebook account.

  • With the content partnership, both brands are looking to engage consumers around the adaptations that have surged in popularity as viewing time continues to shift to streaming. The first episode of the show will air on Nov. 16 and is about Nella Larsen's novel "Passing" and a film adaptation that will debut on Netflix on Nov. 10.

Dive Insight:

Starbucks and Netflix are tapping into several consumer trends that have accelerated during the pandemic with a video series that runs across Netflix's YouTube and Facebook channels. The Netflix Book Club allows consumers to learn about the books that have been adapted into films and TV series on the streamer, and is named after a frequent refrain of such conversations. Book clubs have seen increased interest as consumers have sought socially distanced activities during the pandemic. Integrating coffee into such interactions is a natural extension, per Starbucks.

"Coffee brings us together for a shared experience with loved ones, friends, and even strangers, and Starbucks has built a community over the years for people to have conversations with one another about literature and entertainment," Starbucks CMO Brady Brewer said in the blog post.

For Starbucks, the series showcases its cafe locations and reminds consumers of the company's goal to be a "third place" — neither home nor work — where people can have conversations and find community. Starbucks beat Wall Street estimates for its Q3 earnings and revenue and is expected to report Q4 earnings on Oct. 28.

Meanwhile, Netflix can further engage consumers who have turned book adaptations including "Bridgerton" and "The Queen's Gambit" into buzz-generating hits during the past year. Such content has helped Netflix drive revenue, but its subscriber growth has started to slow. Engaging consumers around its content with free offerings like the Netflix Book Club could help to drive new subscriptions. Netflix is expected to report Q3 earnings on Oct. 19.

The book club comes on the heels of Netflix's new online hub with Walmart that offers exclusive merchandise and experiences inspired by shows like "Stranger Things," "Nailed It!" and "Squid Game." The hub arrives in advance of the holiday shopping season, and like the Starbucks partnership, helps the brands tap into fan culture.

Starbucks has previously partnered with other streaming services to expand its cultural footprint. The chain in 2019 teamed with Amazon Prime Video to create and distribute a six-part documentary series about the human stories behind soccer around the globe.