How to Pitch a Show to Netflix (Hulu, Amazon, Etc) and Win

Learn how to make a winning Netflix pitch with engaging storytelling and design tips. Create your script and ideas into a compelling pitch that gets the deal.

How to pitch a show to Netflix

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Short answer

How to successfully pitch a show to Netflix?

To pitch a show to Netflix you have to work through middlemen who already have a relationship with Netflix, such as producers, managers, or industry executives.

To pitch successfully you should tailor your pitch deck to Netflix’s established content formula, and trending shows.

Most Netflix pitches are rejected within seconds - will yours be any different?

The chance of your pitch disappearing into the void, like countless others, is real and daunting.

But this fate is completely avoidable. With the right approach, you too can secure a spot as Netflix's Original.

Understanding Netflix's "content formula", guidelines, and requirements will let you pitch the show they're looking for in their own way.

Follow this guide closely and your pitch might break through. Your show could just be the next international sensation.

What should a Netflix pitch deck include?

Creating a pitch deck for a movie is a delicate balance of storytelling and marketing, designed to entice potential supporters.

It's more than just a list of components; it's about crafting a compelling narrative that highlights the unique promise of your film.

12 must-have Netflix pitch deck slides:

  1. Title slide: Make a lasting impression. Feature your film's name and logo prominently, laying the groundwork for the narrative to unfold.

  2. Executive summary: Give a short overview of the project's format, genre, budget, and shooting details.

  3. Logline: Capture the essence of your film in one or two sentences, providing a concise summary of the plot, while the synopsis is a one-page script summary.

  4. Tone: Determines the movie's overall emotional vibe and narrative stance, shaping how the audience perceives and feels about the story.

  5. Moodboard: A visual compilation used to convey the intended visual style, mood, and atmosphere of a movie to the production team.

  6. Main characters: The soul of your film. Offer comprehensive insights and imagery for principal characters, ensuring they stand out and connect with the audience.

  7. Scenery/Setting: Beyond mere scenery. Display images and details of critical locations, emphasizing their role in enhancing the story's atmosphere and progression.

  8. Key scenes: Your script's highlights. Showcase Crucial scenes or events that form the narrative's backbone, highlighting emotional and narrative climaxes.

  9. Target audience: Know your viewers. Indicate to whom the film is addressed and its appeal, along with an analysis of its potential audience.

  10. Budget breakdown: Transparency builds trust. Offer a clear overview of estimated costs, demonstrating that you have considered the financial aspect of bringing your vision to life.

  11. Market analysis: Show your business acumen. Information on the expected audience scope, competitors, and distribution avenues, affirm your movie's commercial potential.

  12. Team overview: Our driving force. Detail significant team members in the team slide, underscoring their roles, expertise, and how they bolster the project's authenticity and likelihood of success.

How is content pitched to Netflix?

Netflix does not accept unsolicited submissions. you must work through a licensed agent, producer, attorney, manager, or industry executive, as appropriate, who already has a relationship with Netflix.

If you can, leverage established relationships or find representation within the industry.

Cater to Netflix's content formula

Cracking Netflix's code isn’t just about what you present, but how you present it.

This guide outlines how to tailor a pitch for a platform renowned for pioneering and pushing the boundaries of content creation.

Here’s your strategy to make sure your content pitch hits the mark every time:

  1. Propose original and unique content: Your pitch should focus on fresh and original content. Netflix seeks distinctive narratives that stand out in the saturated market of streaming content.

  2. Demonstrate broad appeal and niche interest: Make your content appealing to a wide audience while catering to specific interests. having universal themes with a unique twist that can engage diverse groups.

  3. Highlight cultural relevance: Emphasize your content's cultural diversity and relevance, especially if it includes non-U.S. settings or narratives, to appeal to Netflix's global audience.

  4. Include data-driven insights: To help determine your content's potential success. Netflix is data-driven, so you have to prove your content will engage viewers.

  5. Focus on high-quality production values: Emphasize cinematography and innovative post-production techniques in your pitch. Detail your team's expertise in crafting visually compelling narratives.

  6. Emphasize multi-season potential: Netflix often prefers content that can be developed over multiple seasons. Outline potential future developments and story arcs that could sustain viewer interest over time.

  7. Innovative marketing potential: Strategies that draw attention and create buzz. For instance, the interactive film "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" allowed viewers to choose their story paths, promoting discussions and excitement online.

Step-by-step guide to creating your Netflix pitch

Embarking on a Netflix pitch is like charting a course through unexplored territory.

It’s thrilling, albeit a bit daunting, but unquestionably worth the journey. Navigate this path with confidence and creativity.

To pitch Netflix, follow these steps:

1. Refine your concept

This is the seed of your entire pitch. It's where you show off that spark of an idea that's been keeping you up at night.

Think of it as your first impression - make it bold, make it unique, and above all, make it unforgettable.

2. Demonstrate market viability

Highlight your show's potential by aligning it with current trends and Netflix's content goals.

Outline your understanding of the target audience and propose marketing strategies, showing how your concept not only captures but retains global attention.

Provide a snapshot of production costs to underscore your project's market readiness.

Here's an example of a marketing and distribution plan slide:

Marketing and distribution plan slide

3. Craft compelling narrative

The heart of your pitch. A compelling narrative isn't just about plot twists and character arcs, it's about weaving a story that resonates.

It's your chance to show not just the what, but the why - why your story matters, why it's different, and why it will captivate viewers.

4. Align with Netflix sales goals

Aligning your vision with Netflix's broader goals is crucial. It's like matching puzzle pieces; when done right, the picture comes together beautifully.

Your pitch should highlight how your show not only fills a gap in their content but also captivates their global audience.

5. Develop an execution plan

Ideas are just the starting point. Netflix wants to know you've got a plan to bring your vision to life.

It is about logistics, timelines, and a clear path from concept to screen that is outlined in a comprehensive roadmap or project plan. It's proving you're not just a dreamer, but a doer.

6. Secure funding and sponsorship

Let's talk money. A realistic budget represented in a sponsorship deck shows you're serious and understand what it takes to produce quality content.

If you've already got sponsors lined up or a clear plan for funding, even better. It shows initiative and financial acumen.

7. Assemble your pitch deck

When crafting a pitch, the power of visual storytelling cannot be understated.

A well-designed pitch not only conveys your message but also captures the imagination, making your narrative unforgettable.

I) Use narrated design - scrollytelling

Guide your audience through your pitch at their own pace. This approach can achieve retention rates of 60-70%, significantly enhancing comprehension and impact.

II) Personalize

Customize your pitch to reflect your audience's branding or interests.

This personal touch can dramatically increase engagement, making your narrative feel tailor-made for them.

III) End with a clear CTA

Finish strong. What do you want the agent or producer to do next? Whether it's a meeting, a script review, or a pilot episode, your call to action should be clear and compelling.

It's your closing argument, the reason they can't wait to see what comes next.

IV) Link to external content / supporting documents

Extend your narrative beyond the confines of your pitch. Links to further information or documents provide additional context and depth, enriching your audience's understanding without cluttering your main message.

Grab a Netflix interactive pitch deck template

You don’t have to work hard to stand out. Most of your competition will resort to using dull PDFs or PowerPoints to pitch their shows, but you know better.

Below are a bunch of interactive TV show pitch deck templates designed to stand out, tell your story, and get people excited.

Grab one.

No templates found

8. Listen to feedback and adapt

Be ready to adapt. Your initial pitch might not be perfect, and that's okay.

The good thing about pitching to Netflix is that you don’t pitch directly to the companies but rather to agents and producers who work with it. If one rejects you, there are still more opportunities to try.

Showing you're open to feedback and collaboration not only makes your proposal stronger but also demonstrates you're a team player. Netflix's input can turn a great idea into an exceptional show.

Use Storydoc analytics to get engagement insights and improve based on data, which will help you fine-tune it for maximum impact.

The dashboard below shows an example of Storydoc's analytics:

Analytics panel - CTA

How to decode Netflix’s content strategy?

  • Analyse Netflix’s top 10 lists: Delve into these to gauge what captivates audiences now. Analyze trends and thematic elements that rise to the top.

  • Guage popularity through audience reviews and social media buzz: Listen to the chatter. Viewer feedback can provide invaluable insights into what works and what falls flat.

  • Use competitive analysis platforms: Use tools like SEMrush or SimilarWeb to dissect content popularity and find untapped niches in Netflix’s catalog.

  • Try screenwriting software with analytic capabilities: Leverage technology like Final Draft or Celtx not just to pen your script but to scrutinize its components against prevailing industry trends.

  • Access diversity and inclusion frameworks: Use these frameworks to ensure your content not only meets but surpasses diversity expectations, showcasing a broad spectrum of human experiences.

Hadar Peretz

I am a Marketing Specialist at Storydoc, I research, analyze and write on our core topics of business presentations, sales, and fundraising. I love talking to clients about their successes and failures so I can get a rounded understanding of their world.

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