Don’t know what to watch on Netflix? You will soon have an easy solution
Indecision on what to watch Netflix (NFLX 0.11% ) is a common problem. The US version of the video streaming service offers nearly 1,400 films and 4,700 television series. Figuring out what to watch next can be tricky, despite Netflix’s best efforts to organize the catalog and recommend titles based on your viewing history. There is even a cottage industry of sites and apps that exist just for the purpose of giving you ideas on what to watch next.
Well aware of this problem, Netflix is preparing to roll out a quick fix for subscribers around the world.
During the fourth quarter earnings call, COO and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters answered a question about testing a linear TV format in France. His response suggested that he was not very impressed with the results of this experiment, but the discussion quickly turned in a more interesting direction.
“I think an even better example of [new mechanisms] is a new feature that we’ve been testing, and now we’re going to roll it out globally because it really works for us, where our members can basically tell us that they just want to skip browsing completely, ”Peters said. . ”Click a button and we’ll pick a title for them just to play instantly. And it’s a great mechanism that has worked really well for our members in this situation. “
CEO Reed Hastings slammed Peters over the name of the new feature, currently known as “I’m Feeling Lucky”. Peters promised to find something better.
Don’t be surprised if your favorite video viewing device is getting a new feature for its Netflix app soon. If you just don’t know what to watch, you’ll just be able to access a bunch of random titles presumably suited to your tastes based on Netflix’s massive amounts of custom viewing data. This is the kind of innovation that needed to be tested before the company could bring it to a wider audience. I could imagine that some viewers would just get stuck pressing that “random title” button over and over again, but it seemed to work well for their test population.
One more piece of the puzzle
The most important point here is that Netflix is open to new ideas. Service isn’t set in stone, though you’re unlikely to see any big and sudden changes to make any new experience disorienting. Netflix puts user experience first. From title selection and catalog searches to video compression and translated subtitles, everything is up for debate and optimization.
Netflix puts it this way in its official Long Term Vision document:
“We are relieved of the complexity and frustration that characterizes most MVPD (cable, satellite, etc.) relationships with their customers. We strive to be extremely straightforward … We aim for the flexibility of any display at all times. We aim for a personal experience that finds for each person the most enjoyable titles from around the world. “
The idea of a random title is just one more example of this long-held attitude towards the video streaming business. If you build it, they will come. This is exactly how Netflix built a global service with 204 million paying customers and annual revenue of $ 25 billion. It is also how the business will adapt to changing market conditions and consumer tastes to remain relevant for many years to come.
This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are motley! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.