Netflix showed movies and TV shows before public release to small groups of subscribers in the United States, according to a report by Variety. Subscribers who participate in commentary panels will watch “several upcoming movies and series over a period of approximately six months.” Variety said, and after they finish watching a piece of content, they are asked to complete a survey. The company then takes that feedback into consideration for potential changes before a movie or show debuts.
Netflix is well known for testing many of its software features ahead of larger releases, like the Top 10 line and the “Play Something” shuffle feature, so it’s perhaps not too surprising that the company is also testing its content with small groups of users. The company has apparently been doing this since May 2021.
The groups could help Netflix focus on potential hits as it tries to weather the fallout from its latest earnings report, where it reported losing subscribers for the first time in more than a decade. Just today, Netflix laid off 150 employees and at least 26 contractors, and the cuts follow additional layoffs from April. The company also announced that it would launch an ad-supported plan and crack down on password sharing.
Disclosure: The edge is currently producing a series with Netflix.