While consumers (myself included) may be freaking out over the new streaming platforms set to launch this year, and how they’ll affect the pool of content available to staple, OG platforms like Hulu and Netflix, one woman seems unbothered.
At today’s INTV conference, held through tomorrow in Jerusalem, Netflix Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland shared her thoughts on the future of streaming and video on demand, and gave attendees a glimpse at Netflix’s programming strategy and metrics for success. “On-demand television is in its very early stages, and there’s many opportunities for other companies to be successful,” Holland says, ostensibly giving a nod to the upcoming Disney+ and Warner Media’s streaming service.
During the panel discussion, moderated by Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir, Holland was optimistic about what lies ahead for Netflix. Check out our top three takeaways below.
28 Days Later
Without ratings as the primary motivating factor, what does Netflix worry about? Programming decisions seem to largely depend on audience tastes, internal performance indicators, and whatever projections the company makes based on the two.
“We’re sizing up the audience and how much to invest. If that audience doesn’t show up to that level, what is the reason to continue to invest as we hoped?,” Holland asks, going on to explain that within 28 days, Netflix has a pretty good idea whether or not a show will reach objectives.
Mobile Viewing Is Up, Up, Up
According to Holland, more and more Netflix subscribers are viewing content on their phones. While TV is still the leading device, who knows how long it’ll remain on top. She also shared that the average member watches two hours a day, though viewership is, predictably, higher on weekends and holidays.
House of Cards Was the Bellwether
Travel back in time to before House of Cards was embroiled in the #MeToo scandal, the original series was groundbreaking for Netflix. Holland shares that the series’ purpose was to “define what Netflix” would be from a premium content standpoint. “We didn’t have an original content strategy when we commissioned House of Cards,” Holland says, “Will networks stop selling to us? We thought they probably would or that they’d allocate for their own services.”
Fast forward to today, and Netflix is known for its premium, original content across genres. The success of Stranger Things led to 13 Reasons Why, and Narcos paved the way for content in other languages. “Narcos gave us the confidence to invest in non-English content,” Holland says, adding that one of Netflix’s goals moving forward is “providing content for the 190 countries we serve.” Beyond series, last fall’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was such a pop culture phenom that it prompted the company to order a sequel. No wonder Holland isn’t worried about what the future holds for Netflix.
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