Credit: Nick Wall / Netflix
Welp, we warned you.
Netflix’s promotional Streamberry site, inspired by the parody version of the streaming platform in the Black Mirror Season 6 episode “Joan Is Awful,” is indeed using your image in a marketing campaign in the UK.
Launched Tuesday, Netflix’s Streamberry site(opens in a new tab) allows you to “sign up” to the platform, which looks remarkably like Netflix’s own. Signing up requires you to upload or take a photo of yourself which “may end up on a billboard” — an instant red flag if you’ve watched the Black Mirror episode.
A little too familiar. Credit: Screenshot: Netflix
I’ve seen what happens to the lead character of “Joan Is Awful,” so I decided against using my own image for this experiment. Instead, I found a dog on Unsplash, named him something villainous, and uploaded its likeness instead.
Behold, Moriarty. Credit: Alvan Nee / Netflix
Once you’ve adjusted the image, you need to “consent to Netflix’s use of my image for its marketing campaign,” and “read and agree[d] to the Terms of Service and Privacy Agreement(opens in a new tab)” to move forward.
In these terms, you’ll note that “by interacting with this Experience, you grant the Netflix entity that provides you with this Experience, its affiliates and respective successors and assigns and anyone authorized by any of them (collectively, “Netflix”), the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive right to record, depict, and/or portray you and use, and grant to others the right, but not the obligation, to record, depict, and/or portray you and use, your actual or simulated likeness, name, photograph, voice, actions, etc. in connection with the development, production, distribution, exploitation, advertising, promotion and publicity of this Experience, in all media, now known and later devised, and all languages, formats, versions, and forms related to such Experience without compensation to you or any other individual, unless prohibited by law.”
Basically, you’re letting Netflix use whatever image you upload for its Black Mirror marketing campaign — like they told you they would.
If you agree, you’ll be served a mockup of the site with your image and name as the next star of Joan Is Awful.
A terrible star. Credit: Alvan Nee / Netflix
And sure enough, Netflix is using these images for its marketing campaign in the UK. Here’s poor ol’ Moriarty, shamed as the awful lead of his own show, apparently on a billboard in Stratford, London.
Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Now, it’s likely this is a rolling billboard, as I’ve seen other(opens in a new tab) people’s(opens in a new tab) “_____ Is Awful” images popping up on Twitter in the same spot. And there’s other(opens in a new tab) billboards(opens in a new tab) popping up elsewhere in the UK. Whether or not these are simply photoshopped is beside the point, too — the Black Mirror Twitter account is sharing them across the internet, so this is still effective marketing.
The whole thing looks exactly like Streamberry CEO Mona Javadi (Leila Farzad) wants in the episode, explaining to a journalist the company uses “an infinite content creator capable of willing entire multiverses into existence” to create the show using an algorithm and user monitoring.
“The aim here is to launch unique, tailored content to each individual in our database, all 800 million of them, created on the fly by our system. The most relatable content imaginable.”
It’s exactly what Netflix’s marketing team is doing. It makes so much sense. If you signed up and suddenly see your face on a billboard, that’s on you.
And if you’re wondering what you’ve signed up to with Netflix itself, these are the most Streamberry-ish parts of Netflix’s real user agreement.
How to watch: All seasons of Black Mirror are now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a new tab)
Shannon Connellan is Mashable’s UK Editor based in London, formerly Mashable’s Australia Editor, but emotionally, she lives in the Creel House.