20 years of personalization at Netflix

Gibson Biddle has an amazing retrospective of 20 years of personalization at Netflix, and its role in the company’s product strategy. The screenshots alone are worth the trip down memory lane.

It took Netflix more than a decade to demonstrate that a personalized experience improved retention. But consistent growth in this proxy metric convinced the company to keep doubling down on personalization until many years later, Netflix proved that personalization improved retention in a large-scale retention test.

This is an interesting proposition…

Here’s the long-term personalization vision: twenty years from now, Netflix will eliminate both the “Play Something” button and its personalized merchandising system, and that one special movie you’re in the mood to watch at that particular moment will automatically begin to play.

…not necessarily because of what this means for personalization (given a 20 year time horizon, this feels achievable), but what this would mean for creators. If the only decision is “Do I keep watching” how might that change the first few seconds of any new show or movie you’re watching? For better or worse, our next generation of filmmakers are currently learning and evolving these creative strategies on TikTok.

--

--

--

Person of interests.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Unconventional Guide to Become a White hat of Marketing

Maria Garrido — The Innovation Mindset in Healthcare Marketing

Leveraging Social Commerce to Create Superior Customer Experiences

Group of women chatting at table

Customer Experience Still Sucks

Why Facebook Groups Can Be the Perfect Cyberspace To Keep Your Super Fans Base

Fish for people willing and eager to be your partners

Clown fish peeking out.

6 Ways to Add Value to Your Email Newsletters

A young boy in the 1990s on a computer giving the thumbs up.

Small Business Owner? Tips to make your life easy.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Michael Sippey

Michael Sippey

Person of interests.

More from Medium

Do you really have a product-market fit?

Being mindful of cognitive biases when designing for e-commerce

How has co-design helped companies thrive in extreme environments?

Behind the lens — My year in review