If you like the idea of seeing Netflix movies and shows before they’re released to the public, you’ll want to be part of the Netflix Preview Club—a group of subscribers who get to see content early in exchange for ratings and feedback.
According to The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab) (through TechCrunch (opens in new tab)), the club opens its doors wider. Currently about 2,000 people are enrolled, but that will rise to tens of thousands by early 2023, picked from around the world.
“Netflix is working to ensure every dollar spent on content delivers the highest level of member attention and engagement for its 223 million subscribers worldwide, and is driven by streamers taking a closer look at content spend and focusing more on profitability reads the WSJ report.
Needs more humour
The existence of the Netflix Preview Club – which is similar to plans from the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Hulu – was previously revealed by Variety (opens in new tab). Of course, the habit of getting early feedback on movies and television shows is nothing new, but it seems that Netflix is looking to expand its own system.
Apparently, more humor has been added to the 2021 Netflix movie Don’t Look Up, based on early audience feedback. It went on to break weekly viewing hour records on the streaming service and also earned four Oscar nominations.
It’s not clear exactly how people are chosen to be part of the Netflix Preview Club, but we recommend keeping a close eye on your email inbox. Presumably, Netflix will want to make sure it gets a good cross-section of subscribers to hear feedback from.
Analysis: valuable feedback
While test screenings are common in the entertainment industry, it’s interesting to get a glimpse of how early ratings and feedback work at Netflix. According to the WSJ, Netflix employees also play a role in pre-rating content.
A platform like Netflix has the advantage of a huge amount of user data: what people are watching, how quickly they watch it, what they would like to see next, and even at what point in movies or shows people give up watching something.
That’s all valuable feedback when it comes to making sure something is a hit rather than a miss. According to the new report, creators are “usually able to decide what changes to make” — it doesn’t sound like they’re forced to make any changes.
How much is changed also depends on how much spare material the production teams have available: new takes are expensive and clunky, so they’re unlikely to go to the trouble and expense of getting them unless something really reacts negatively.