Netflix House and the Future of Fan Engagement

Photo courtesy Tudum by Netflix

It’s not every day that experiential news stops us in our tracks. But a couple of weeks ago, we were struck by a big Netflix announcement: The streaming giant will open its first two massive entertainment complexes, called Netflix Houses, in 2025. These venues will be located in King of Prussia, PA, and Dallas, repurposing former department store spaces in popular shopping malls. Each Netflix House will cover over 100,000 square feet and offer a mix of shopping, dining and immersive experiences themed around major franchises like “Bridgerton,” “Stranger Things,” and “Squid Game.”

Instead of a location devoted to just one of Netflix’s hits — these venues will feature regularly updated immersive experiences, themed eateries, and retail stores with exclusive merchandise. (You know, a movie theater meets a mall meets an immersive experience. We’re up for it all.) Outside, visitors will be greeted by sculptures and murals of popular Netflix characters. And in a key lesson for all of us: Netflix aims to use these locations as marketing tools to enhance fan engagement rather than as standalone business ventures.

We asked prominent members of the XP Land community — and experiential industry veterans — for their hot takes on Netflix House and what it means for the future of fan engagement.

“This is a smart move by Netflix and a great way to add further dimensionality in an ultra-competitive streaming market. They’ve always invested heavily in IRL experiences and encouraged their team and partners to push boundaries. As great live experiences become even more coveted in the era of AI, I expect that this continued experimentation and investment will have a major upside for them.lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

Geoff Renaud, CMO and Co-Founder, Invisible North

“I love so many things about Netflix House! It’s smart (and frankly overdue) to take the brand popup experiences that industry insiders have enjoyed at SXSW and other events and make them accessible to fans where they are. Netflix is basically network TV for so many of us of all ages. It’s a major source of entertainment, and I hope to see a little something in the programming for everyone. Perhaps the future of American malls is experiential!”

Lesly Simmons, Head of Community Innovation, Amazon

Joe Killian

“Netflix is making a significant bet on experiential marketing. I think super fans will go and pay to participate. These seem to be marketing efforts more than revenue generators, but let’s see…”

Joe Killian, Founder, Killian + Company

“Netflix House has the potential to transform passive viewership into active participation, fostering a true sense of belonging and community. You can redefine audience engagement on Netflix, making every fan feel like a character or a creator in their favorite stories. It’s not just about creating an Instagram moment but about fostering true, meaningful connections with your audience. Leveraging user-generated content (UGC) can be a real barrier breaker, enhancing the genuineness of interactions and establishing a deeper sense of belonging.

Moreover, you have the potential to pioneer this sense of community in the Web 3 space with this initiative. By embracing decentralized technologies and integrating UGC, Netflix House could set a new standard for interactive and immersive brand experiences, redefining the future of entertainment.”

Louise Murray, Founder, Lemuria Dreamer LLC

“The future of experiential is participatory — with multiple revenue streams. Netflix gets it more than most — and they’ve been very busy creating as many ways as possible for fans to join in the fun: on their screens, digitally, socially, and now via IRL worldbuilding. While mall operators and movie theaters have been passively waiting for brands and IP to occupy them (and dying a slow death) — Netflix is proactively creating fantastical, dynamic worlds for their superfans.”

Erica Boeke, CEO and Founder, XP Land

Join us in XP Land. A community for experiential creatives and experience-makers, brand leaders and IP-owners, space stewards and venue visionaries — all of those in the business of epic gatherings and live, immersive storytelling.

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Experiential Is Everything

XP Land is for experiential creatives and experience-makers, brand leaders, and IP-owners, space stewards and venue visionaries — all those in the business of epic gatherings and live, immersive storytelling.