Netflix: Easier Program Discovery By...Following Your Eyes

Netflix doesn’t do traditional linear TV-like promo videos to stir viewers. Instead, promos appear on its program guide/home page. But that progress needs to get better, according to the streaming platforms.

Like most streaming apps, subscribers can float their remotes over specific “tiles” of TV shows and movies where a video clip of that content hopes to tease people to view – one episode or entire TV series (hopefully) or to see a complete screening of popular movie.
But now Netflix wants to do more and make it easier for consumers to get what they want more quickly.
A Netflix executive told Reuters that subscribers do “eye gymnastics” when they get to its home page.  
Essentially, subscribers' eyes wander around, looking at a row of content under a particular category – drama, comedy or whatever. They might also see “recent releases” or take in – for a second or two – a show’s tile or "box art;” perhaps a longer time with a prom video clip. Eyes can then move back to an on-screen synopsis. 
Netflix wants to make things simple, more intuitive and help those who take too much time, get frustrated, and/or abandon their streaming event session. Even worse for a streamer, frustration may grow to where they spend time with a piece of content they really didn’t want to watch in the first place. 
While still a work in progress, Netflix says it is testing some changes to the TV app: the "menu" prompt moving from the left side of the screen to the top of the screen.
Additionally, a proposed "My Netflix" tab could be added, with shows or movies a user has started watching, or ones saved to check out later.
For all streamers, the bigger picture comes to improve overall program/movie/content discovery -- which continues to give some streaming customers headaches. Streaming subscribers may hear about a show through word-of-mouth but then have a tough time finding what platform the show is on.
However, slow progress with content discovery could be taking a new turn now as many streaming platforms are looking to bundle their products. 
We don’t know the specifics of these bundles. 
Initially we imagine each streaming platform will continue to be an entity unto themselves. But down the line, think about the second and third generations of bundling where streamers might collectively offer up an easier electronic program guide/interface – which would include video clips, box art, information and other elements.
Unlike a traditional cable TV, satellite, telco or virtual pay TV service that offers an all-encompassing channel guide of up to 200 or more channels, the streaming business still does not have one central place to go to view and select all content.
That’s where the business should go.  



2 comments about "Netflix: Easier Program Discovery By...Following Your Eyes".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 10, 2024 at 10:03 a.m.

    Yes, Wayne, this is a huge problem as most viewers don't know exactly what they might want to watch  when they have time on their hands and want to occupy it with a dose of TV. With pay TV you have 150+ channels that are offering something to watch now---not later---so you can pick and choose from all of what's available and, often, find something acceptable. With streaming you must go from app to app among those 3-4 you subscribe to, plus many more of the free ones and when you get to one you are invited to scan a catalog---or menu---which includes all sorts of genres and shows. For many people that takes too much time---so they give up---or, worse, they select something out of frustration---that turns out to be not as satisfying----or soemthing they've seen before. All of which tends to discourage usage and depress viewing time relative to linear TV where viewers are used to "appointment viewing" and can plan their viewing day around same---day after day cunsuming their latest installment of a favorite news report, a game show, a talk show, etc as well as once a week prime time favorites whose scheduling is also known.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, June 10, 2024 at 5:38 p.m.

    Well summarised Ed.

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