Fashion Merchandise: The Hidden Money Making Arm Of TV Shows

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Netflix has entered the e-commerce market with its very own store. The virtual shop will be launched with merchandise from its popular shows. It has already been activated in the US and will be further expanding in other countries in the upcoming months. The Netflix shop will house merchandise from its quintessential originals with a strong fan base. To begin with, the website has athleisure and action figures inspired by the popular anime series Yasuke and Eden. Along with decorative products influenced by the French thriller series Lupin in collaboration with the Musee du Louvre. Next up, fans are eagerly awaiting items influenced by period drama The Witcher and everyone’s common favourite fantasy thriller, Stranger Things.


While OTT platforms are now cashing in on the fame of their front-running shows, classic series that aired years ago on cable networks cracked this formula well in advance. Apart from the money it makes from the re-runs, OG TV series continue to make the dollars by selling merchandise like clothing and decor figures. Here are some of the most prominent television dramas that are still successfully selling their merchandise years after going off-air.

1. Friends 

Image via: Pinterest

It wouldn’t be wrong to comment that Friends continues to be one of the most profitable shows of all time. The 9 seasons are constantly blocking prime-time television on important channels for re-runs, making the original star-cast richer by an estimate of $19-$20 million every year. Besides this, according to USA Today, Warner Bros mints around  $1 billion each year from the multiple deals and Friend’s merchandise being sold. From monogrammed hoodies and cups with their famous quotes to quirky home decor and stationery inspired by the iconic Central Perk cafe from the show, the actors take a rough cut of $2 million annually from all the Friend’s inspired party products we see throughout the year.

                                          Image via: Amazon 

2. One Tree Hill 

If you’re a ’90s kid, a large part of your teenage has probably gone in obsessing over One Tree Hill. A show about love, teenage drama and basketball; a game that is still paying back its star shooter Lucas Scott, played by Chad Michael Murray, who is selling limited edition, autographed jerseys. The popular jersey was symbolic of OTH’s basketball team, Ravens, and is a pop-culture fiend’s favourite collectable. Apart from Michael-Murray, the three leading ladies, Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, and Bethany Joy Lenz, have started the Drama Queen OTH podcast along with a line of clothing merchandise that is soon to be dropped. Almost 9 years after the last episode was aired, the show continues to be beneficial for the original cast and the iconic fashion costumes from its nine seasons play a pivotal part in it.

3. The Office 

Image via: Pinterest 

I think we all know an adult in our lives that owns The Office merchandise. Pretty much every single scene and dialogue in this show has been converted into a product. From mugs, pyjamas, and sweatshirts to socks, masks and stationary (even Pam’s watercolour painting) are sold on the NBC network’s official website. A large part of the revenue earned from it continues to ring dollars in the bank accounts of the show’s writers, creators and actors (apart from the network itself). The women of the show, mainly Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, have taken the matter into their own hands and are now successfully running a podcast called Office Ladies. While dissecting each episode from their point of view, they are also serving their girl club with a fresh merch drop that includes cute tote bags, wine mugs, pop sockets and sweatshirts.

Fashion X Merchandising

The global TV and movie merchandise market is predicted to grow up to 68 billion by 2022. OTT platforms and seasoned networks have started to heavily depend on the sales of the merchandise, owing to the constant growth of e-commerce platforms. From HBO to CBS, every channel has a digital shop that sells goods from shows as old as Seinfeld to as new as Euphoria. Show makers are now smartly incorporating fashion in their design strategies instead of the done and dusted costume-style branding.

For instance, the storming popularity of K-pop and K-dramas have unlocked a whole new level of celebrity-fan relationship. Their merchandise range from clothing, accessories to footwear and jewellery.  Ditching the plane-jane t-shirts with texts and logos,  they are taking it a step ahead by creating co-ord sets, joggers, sneakers, backpacks and a plethora of other streetwear with unique graphic designs, colour combinations, trimming details and trendier cuts. Blending the branding by using fashion in an intelligent manner is the new way of monetising through merchandise.

Image via: Amazon

- Junior Digital Editor


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