SVOD giant Netflix has recruited Christie Fleischer to fill a newly created global head of consumer products role. She is tasked with developing a consumer products portfolio for Netflix original series and films, overseeing retail and licensee partnerships, publishing, interactive games, merchandising and experiential events.
Before joining the streamer, Fleischer served as head of merchandise for parks, experiences and consumer products at Disney, where she focused on product strategy and development, creative, sourcing, supply chain and logistics for parks and resorts, Disney stores and licensing.
Netflix is getting into the consumer products game at a good time, given that the toy industry continues to grow. Recent data from market research firm The NPD Group shows that global toy sales grew 4% in the first half of 2018 to hit US$18.4 billion. In the same period, US toy sales grew 7% and generated US$7.9 billion.
But this move is a few years in the making. A year ago, Netflix tapped WWE’s former North American licensing VP, Jess Richardson, as director of global licensing, merchandising and promotions. And the company also began searching for a licensing and merchandising exec to lead the new CP business in early 2017, putting up a job posting on its website for an LA-based senior manager in the L&M sector.
While there’s no word on how many products Fleischer will be building out for the streamer’s kid series, Netflix has continued to build up that area of its business, including recently hiring former Nickelodeon International Animation VP Alexi Wheeler to join its kids and family international originals team.