Netflix currently has a relatively small subscriber base of about 2,000 that it invites to preview and provide feedback on future projects prior to release, but that number is poised to grow significantly as the streamer looks to maximize profits in an increasingly competitive streaming market.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Netflix plans to open up its Preview Club program to “tens of thousands” more subscribers around the world to collect people’s responses that could ultimately be used to make last-minute adjustments to the streamer’s movies and movies. prior to their wider release.
That’s reportedly what happened to Adam McKay’s Don’t look up after a small Netflix test audience said they thought the film was too serious, prompting the creative team to make adjustments to brighten up the tone.
Studios soliciting responses from eager audiences isn’t a new practice by any means, but Netflix’s push to grow the Preview Club comes as the platform has moved to limit its annual content spend to $ 17 billion. While Netflix wants to know if people are enjoying all the content it spent with the money to make, it also wants to know as much as possible about how it can best benefit from its investments.
Netflix has been transparent about how hyper-focused it is on releasing more global megahits like Squid game or Stranger things, which is an imprecise science because the studio can never really know when any of its projects will take off. But as Netflix continues its search for more ways to get people to pay for its increasingly expensive and difficult-to-share services, it will start by reaching more of its subscribers and inviting them to be part of the larger machine.