How to Sell a Project to Netflix
Streaming services continue to grow in popularity because of their accessibility and ease of use. Recent statistics show that about 78% of people in the United States use subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services. Recent data also shows that there are over 70 million Netflix subscribers.
Getting your project shown on Netflix is one of the fastest ways to reach the widest audience possible, whether you’re an independent filmmaker who wants to create a name in the entertainment industry or a big-budget producer who aims to surpass the success of the last movie you released.
However, you can’t just pitch your project directly to Netflix. Based on the company’s submission guidelines, it only accepts submissions from entities with whom it has an existing relationship. They include:
- Licensed literary agents or agencies
- Producers or production companies
- Specialist attorneys
- Entertainment managers or executives
Netflix won’t accept any pitch or submission, such as a script, screenplay, TV series, or full-length film, that didn’t come from the channels above since these pitches or submissions are unsolicited. So, how can you sell a project to Netflix? Here are a few tips to consider before you make your pitch.
Make your project stand out
According to Creative Talent Director Christopher Mack, audiences often look at characters more than the plot when deciding whether they want to watch a TV show. However, creating interesting characters doesn’t mean you should focus less on building an interesting storyline and writing a well-structured script. A relatable set of characters may at first capture the attention of audiences, but if the storyline is full of plot holes or the dialogue is boring, the show may not sustain the interest of the viewers.
Mack also recommends developing something fresh out of existing genres. For example, Netflix’s Korean TV series Kingdom has been a huge hit because it successfully combines the zombie apocalypse and historical genres.
Pay attention to technical specifications
Another aspect that you need to keep your eyes on in developing your project is whether it meets Netflix’s quality standards. The streaming service has partner companies that perform strict content quality control tests before releasing any content. Some of the features that they review include HDR format, Photo Sensitive Epilepsy (PSE) validation, and audio and video quality.
Create a list of literary agents, producers, or executives connected with Netflix who can pitch your project to the streaming service
As Netflix only deals with partners, you need to find one that can help you pitch your project. However, keep in mind that getting your work noticed by licensed agents, producers, or executives could be challenging, especially if you’re competing with seasoned writers and filmmakers. For this reason, you need to invest time and resources in creating compelling content that meets the service’s quality requirements.
Hire an entertainment lawyer
An entertainment lawyer acts as a liaising party between you and Netflix or your licensed literary agent. Besides providing legal advice, an entertainment lawyer also:
- Negotiates terms in the contract or agreement
- Prepares all legal documents, including licensing agreements and payment arrangements
- Establishes individual and/or collaborative intellectual property rights
- Represents you if you need to take legal action in case of breach of contract or theft of intellectual property
Protect Your Rights and Your Business
Selling your project to Netflix is not easy. Chase Lawyers can help you launch your next project smoothly on Netflix or other popular streaming services. Our lawyers have many years of experience in the entertainment industry and have worked with both independent movie producers and directors and major production companies in managing situations that need legal guidance.
Contact us for more information on our services or to book a consultation.