Netflix ($NFLX) wants one thing to be clear: it is a legitimate Hollywood studio that makes Academy-Award-caliber films. In fact, according to job listings data from its website, Netflix no longer hires Marketing people. That's because it now hires Publicity people.
That's right - in early 2019, just in time for Oscar season, the company killed off any mention of hiring just marketing people on its careers site. Instead, it now hires people for a "Publicity" category.
For years - since 2016, at least - Netflix's most-common hiring category was "Marketing", a general term that could include anything from social media audience development to direct marketing strategy. But in late 2018 and early 2019, that category disappeared, and in early 2019, the company was hiring for as many as 38 "Publicity" positions.
Before January 5, 2019, that job category didn't exist at Netflix.
This may just be a matter of taxonomical semantics: the company simply started calling its marketers publicity specialists. And that's exactly what appears to have happened: by January 3, 2019, all jobs listed under "Marketing" disappeared from Netflix's careers site.
What appears to have happened at Netflix is multifold: First, it went on a publicity run in early 2019 to be taken seriously as a film studio. After all, directors and Academy officials want to talk to a studio's publicity department, not its marketing department. Second, it appears that the company is now structuring itself as a matrixed group of studios, with teams structured around shows and movies, with "Creative Marketing Production", "Marketing Planning" and "Regional Marketing" its main marketing categories.
It's also worth noting that around the same time, a new "Studio Finance" category materialized in the Netflix job-listing data, quickly growing to the second-most common category of jobs at the company as of this week.
If these strategic shifts in hiring activities aren't enough to convince you of Netflix's shift to a full-fledged studio, just this week the company announced a new 250,000 square-foot production and studio facility in Toronto, often called "Hollywood North" by industry insiders. Keep in mind that Toronto is where two of the Oscar winners for Best Picture in the last three years — The Shape of Water and Spotlight — were filmed.