Netflix uses subscribers as focus groups for unreleased shows

Netflix is ​​turning to a classic strategy to improve its originals: the focus group. Variety learned that Netflix screened movies and TV shows in advance to get feedback from invited subscribers. Customers would watch multiple titles over the six months and complete a survey to indicate what they liked, disliked, or would change.

The company confirmed that it does host focus groups, but only in the United States. The panels have reportedly been active for about a year.

These screenings have been a mainstay in Hollywood for decades and are used to make edits when producers want a title to reach the widest possible audience. Terminator 2The ending of was changed after a discussion group rejected the initial version, for example. As in these cases, Netflix uses the groups to ensure that its originals are well received and that viewers return.

The company is very familiar with experimentation. It tested everything from randomly selecting shows to mobile games. However, testing the content of shows is relatively new. While it’s unclear what prompted the new approach, Netflix is ​​facing increasing pressure from rivals seeking awards and customers who sometimes follow.

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