Netflix – A Channel For Each User
Netflix’s Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt spoke at the 2014 Internet Week in New York, emphasizing the importance of personalization for Netflix’s future success.
“Our vision is you won’t see a grid and you won’t see a sea of titles. Instead you’ll see one or two perfect suggestions that perfectly capture what you want to watch right now depending on your mood and who is with you, who is sitting with you at the TV right now.”
Another point he made was the restrictions that linear TV is subject to (there are only so many slots you can fill in a 24 hour grid), which leads to a tyranny of the popular. Programming without the restrictions of linear TV would lead to more niche shows whose devoted fanbase may not be large by TV network standards, but large enough to merit more seasons on a VOD service. This would lead to more heterogenity and diversity in programming rather than seeing clones of the same popular (talent show) concept over and over again.
Hunt’s boss, CEO Reed Hastings, spoke at Code Conference on how Netflix uses user data. The data is not used to determine what kinds of characters or storylines should be produced in its own productions but rather to determine what content is to be promoted to which subscriber.
Read more, including a lengthy interview with Hunt at The Guardian.