Netflix is appealing to more of its subscribers in an move that will allow tens of thousands of individuals around the world to preview films and tv shows before they’re released on the streaming platform. This is a drastic increase from the 2,000-plus subscribers who previously had VIP preview access.
The program, called the Netflix Preview Club, was first announced last year and follows the same historical tradition as Blockbuster movies since the Silent Film era, inviting subscribers to play a pivotal role in the platform’s content. Through the program, viewers are invited to share what they liked and didn’t like, providing them with the opportunity to play an integral role in what people see on Netflix.
The company first reached out to some subscribers in May of last year in a trial run of the Netflix Preview Club and asked a select number of people to preview upcoming films and tv shows. In an email sent to subscribers, the company wrote, “We at Netflix are building a community of members to view and give feedback on upcoming movies and series, and we’d like to know if you’re interested in being a part of it,” Variety reported.
The email continued, “It’s simple, but an incredibly important part of creating best-in-class content for you and Netflix members all around the world.”
Netflix asked the selected subscribers in the trial group to watch the upcoming content over six months and fill out a survey “to tell us what you liked, what you didn’t, how you’d make it even better, or how likely you’d be to recommend it to friends and family,” the email also said.
The Netflix Preview Club comes as the company works to build profitability after sustaining a loss in subscribers for two consecutive quarters, layoffs, and moves to crackdown on password sharing. The company did manage to see subscriber increases in the third quarter of this year and hopes to make more money after introducing ad-based tiers. Netflix told The Wall Street Journal that it plans to spend about $17 billion annually on new films and tv shows over the next few years.
This new venture follows the methods of other streaming services that operate similar programs like Amazon Preview which invites some subscribers to review and provide feedback on movies and tv shows and Hulu rolled out its Hulu Brain Trust program which asks viewers to fill out a research survey after previewing its content.