Samsung’s Unpacked event this week included one unexpected guest. Netflix was at the event, as the two companies announced a new partnership that will integrate Netflix into Samsung smart phones and bring exclusive Netflix content to Samsung customers.
Forbes described the partnership in two parts. First, Samsung will allow users to use voice commands through their voice assistant, Bixby, to launch Netflix on smartphones. This is fairly straightforward, and a way for Netflix to expand their reach with mobile customers. The move makes sense, as Netflix subscribers have seemed to stall, and as competitors including Disney+ and Apple TV+ have made deals to put their services in front of mobile users.
The second part of the partnership is more unique. Netflix announced that Samsung Galaxy users will get access to exclusive content through the app on their phones. While no original series or movies were announced as being available solely to Samsung customers, Netflix gave the event audience a look at behind the scenes extras and bonus features, shot with the Samsung Galaxy S20, that will be exclusive to Samsung phones.
With Samsung customers paying the same price for a Netflix subscription as others without access to exclusive content, no matter how minimal, there are questions about whether this move will cause any backlash. This could set a precedent for exclusive partnerships between streaming services and brands going forward.
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