I've been thinking about Netflix a bit lately. Most of it around how such a great company can make such bad decisions. Truly remarkable. However, today I had a different thought.
One of the things I love about going to the theater is seeing all the new movie previews. I can't imagine I'm alone on this one. It's exciting to see what's up and coming. Assuming I'm not the only one who likes movie previews...
What if Netflix also showed movie previews? Like in the theater, on their streaming service. I know what you're thinking, this is nothing but the start of commercials. Well... maybe... but I think if Netflix is smart about it, people would love it.
Here's what I think Netflix should do to make it a success:
- Limit themselves to only trailers like a theater. It could be for TV shows too, but the key is for trailers/previews only.
- Only show one trailer before each movie - let's not get crazy here.
- Use their magic-movie-matching algorithm to only show trailers I'd really be interested in.
- Related, if a person only matches on a couple trailers, don't repeat it over and over and over again. Hulu does this and it's annoying. Just go straight to the movie.
- Let me skip the preview just like on a DVD. It's OK.
- Netflix could also use this system for content discovery. There's got to be thousands of old trailers for old movies. Include these trailers for movies currently streaming, again, that I might be interested it based on your magic-movie-matching algorithm (and let me add it to the queue instantly with a single click).
- Obviously, charge production studios to advertise their movies on Netflix. If done reasonably, Netflix could easily pick up a few extra million dollars - to put towards getting better content.
I honestly think people would enjoy seeing the trailers, again, in reasonable doses. I would! Of course, I think Netflix should offer trailers on-demand because sometimes their movie descriptions aren't the best...
What's really cool about movie previews is that it's another way for Netflix to generate revenue without charging customers, while still entertaining them and adding better content over time.
I'm sure the engineering hurdles are massive to create a system like this, but I really think this could be huge for Netflix. Just imagine sitting down to watch a movie and first getting to experience something as glorious as the Avengers trailer.