“Don’t Look Up” got a fan remix (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Sneak previews get serious… If you hate the ending of Netflix’s next show, you might be able to change it. Netflix reportedly plans to expand its Preview Club, which lets viewers watch shows and movies early if they provide detailed feedback. The club has 2K members, but Netflix could expand it to tens of thousands by early next year.
Preview and review… For decades studios have screened movies to “test audiences” to predict how well they’ll perform. But Netflix is notorious for using data to make decisions (think: recommendation algos), though critics say data shouldn’t determine which IP to acquire or which shows to renew. Now it’s expanding Preview Club to boost engagement (this year it posted two consecutive quarters of subscriber losses for the first time).
The customer knows best… That’s why Netflix is tapping into its audience, instead of only relying on industry professionals and algorithms. Critics can disagree over whether a movie is good, because art is subjective. But subscriber-engagement numbers are not subjective — and they’re a priority at Netflix. By the numbers, “Don’t Look Up” succeeded: though the movie wasn’t a hit with critics, it holds Netflix’s record for most streaming hours in a single week.