Netflix is set to take a break from algorithms-driven content suggestion on its streaming platform. The streaming giant is working on curation from real, honest-to-goodness humans. The company headquartered in Los Gatos, California, is reportedly testing an expert-crafted section called ‘Collections’ with a small set of users. Collections, much like music playlists, offer selections based around certain themes for only iOS at the moment.
“If you’re involved in the A/B test, you’ll see a pop-up the next time you open Netflix. It takes the place of the ‘My List’ queue at the top of the app, which some subscribers might not appreciate. (My List is still accessible in the ‘More’ tab),” The Verge reported on Friday.
The company also reportedly said that there was no guarantee whether it would be available for all users globally. They “may or may not become permanent features”, a spokesperson was quoted as saying by the TechCrunch. Netflix is one of the most disruptive content company in the world. It has time and again tested new features that have never made it to the consumers. There is a possibility that Collections will also see a similar fate.
However, the test alone shows that the company is willing to look beyond its auto-curated system. According to media reports, the “Collections” also get a bit of real estate on the main browsing menu. However, it is not nearly as much as the usual carousels for trending content and Netflix’s signature, overly specific rows of stuff it thinks you’ll like — such as the “Critically-acclaimed workplace TV shows” one in my app right now, the report added.
These change in Netflix’s approach towards display of content comes after the company reported its second quarter numbers. During Q2 2019, Netflix reported losing 1,26,000 users in the domestic market versus estimated gain of 3,52,000. It also suffered decline in user addition in the global market. The company added 2.83 million subscribers versus 4.81 million forecast by FactSet. With Disney+ and Apple TV+ set to debut before the end of this year, Netflix not only needs original content but also new display/distribution strategies.