Netflix's Expansion and Experimentation

Netflix announced on Tuesday that it's going to officially launch in Australia and New Zealand in March 2015. Netflix continues its global expansion, which has been expected for quite some time. Its currently the market leader in streaming licensed content. 

What is more interesting than Netflix's announcement is its experimentation. 

Last month, Netflix Design Director Dantley Davis shared that Netflix is experimenting with “bite-sized content”. The bite-sized content is an edited versions of the longer content already available on Netflix. It'll mostly be key scenes from TV shows, snippets from films, and highlights from comedy stand-up specials. 

The intention is to trim down the content to 10 minutes or less as more and more people watch content on their mobile device. While the TV screen is the still the dominant screen for Netflix users, mobile is where Netflix is witnessing the biggest growth. Davis also shared this interesting tidbit - mobile users generally check their phones about 150 times a day and that 87% of Netflix mobile sessions last no more than 10 minutes. Hence, Netflix's experimentation with shorter content. Of course, the difficulty is ensuring that the bite-sized contents are “contextually relevant” and yet compelling to the users. 

Besides the bite-sized content, Netflix is also experimenting with personalization. At this year's Gigaom’s Roadmap conference, Davis shared that Netflix is in the process of launching custom icons which will change according to the specific user and their mobile device. Davis gave an example of how he liked Star Wars because of its sci-fi elements and that his sister liked it because of Princess Leia. Netflix's goal is to be able to show different icons for different users based on their interests. Davis explained that, “with mobile [Netflix] can be more personal and more adaptive.” 

Netflix demonstrates why its the market leader with its expansion, experimentation, and personalization features. Short-form content providers like Viddsee needs to ensure its laser-focus in its curation and features if it hopes to compete against the likes of YouTube, Vimeo, and now Netflix.