- Netflix next month will introduce 30-second vertical video previews for its shows and movies on its mobile app, according to Variety. Previews will appear on the home screen of the mobile app inside round icons that resemble the Stories feature on Snapchat or Instagram.
- At launch, Netflix will show as many as 75 previews for users to swipe through on a mobile device. Eventually, the company will offer previews of hundreds of titles including original and licensed shows. Netflix introduced a similar preview feature as part of its TV interface a few years ago, but this is the first time the company added vertical video in its apps, Variety reports.
- Meanwhile, Netflix has 117 million subscribers worldwide and posted $11 billion in revenue last year, and it expects to reach $15 billion in sales this year, according to USA Today.
Netflix clearly recognizes the changing viewership habits of its audience who are beginning to use their mobile devices to research what to watch. Though 20% of all Netflix viewing happens on mobile, more than 50% of all members of the service use their smartphones or tablets to access the video platform each month, per Variety. This signals that the company needs to continue to innovate for mobile users as more consumers cut down on traditional TV and shift their media viewing habits to digital alternatives.
The company has experimented with the possibility of adding social features to Netflix, but those efforts have thus far failed to take off. It tried to build its own social network, but only 2% of users participated in it, vice president of product Todd Yellin told Variety. After shutting down that version, Netflix explored letting users share their Netflix viewing behavior on Facebook, which didn't see great results either. Instead of trying to recreate social networks, Netflix now participates on other platforms through dedicated accounts for some of its shows.
Netflix is also experimenting with apps to change the way content is produced, per a separate Variety report. The company has been working on apps to help the management of a film crew, the scheduling of a shoot and budgeting. The app, "Move," has been in testing with some Netflix productions since November.