Netflix secretly previews new movies and shows for select members ahead of global releases

Some Netflix subscribers had access to the original content before it was made public as part of a streamer feedback process. According to Variety, for about a year, Netflix has reached out to small groups of subscribers and invited them to participate in a panel to give their opinion on the streamer’s upcoming movies and shows before they are released to the public. According to an email sent to the group, Netflix describes this as “an extremely important part of creating top-notch content.”

“At Netflix, we’re building a community of members to view and give feedback on upcoming movies and series, and we’d love to hear if you’d like to be a part of it,” Variety reports the email read. “It’s simple, but it’s an incredibly important part of creating best-in-class content for you and Netflix members everywhere.”

Those chosen to participate in the panel are invited to watch a number of films and series over the course of six months. At the end of the movie or series, they are asked to complete a survey that tells the streamer “what you liked, what you didn’t, how you would improve it further, or how likely you would recommend to friends and family.” Those who participate must keep their involvement confidential and are asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. According to Variety’s report, the panels are meant to “represent a range of perspectives.” It is unclear how the comments from the panels impact the films and TV series that are screened or if the comments are used for broader purposes in terms of developing additional programs.

Netflix reportedly confirmed the commentary panels and that they only took place in the United States. The idea of ​​getting viewer feedback and focus group testing isn’t terribly unusual both for the industry and for Netflix more broadly. The streamer also regularly tests features with groups of subscribers, including “Shuffle Play,” a scheduled TV channel, and even an audio-only option for mobile devices in recent years.

What do you think of Netflix’s subscriber comment panels? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Alfonso E. Cramer