×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix to Introduce Mobile Previews With Vertical Video in April

Netflix is bringing previews for its shows and movies to its mobile app this April, announced the company’s VP of product Todd Yellin at a press event Wednesday in Los Gatos, Calif. The new feature will allow Netflix subscribers to sample content with 30-second video previews that are being displayed as vertical video.

Netflix introduced a similar preview feature as part of its TV interface a few years ago, but it’s the first time for the company to introduce vertical video within any of its apps.

Netflix vertical video previews

Previews are being integrated into the home screen of the mobile app with round icons that vaguely look like Instagram stories. Users tap on those icons to watch one of those previews, and then swipe through them to explore more. At launch, Netflix will be presenting up to 75 of such previews to swipe through at a time.

Yellin said that previews will be available for “many hundreds of titles,” including both originals and licensed shows. The company has been using its video-editing team in Los Angeles to custom-crop all these 30-second previews, he said. “It’s a huge part of the catalog.”

Yellin shared the news as part of Netflix’s Lab Days, a two-day event used by the company to showcase some of its technology. He said that the company was looking to innovative in mobile because it had proven to be such an important viewing modality for Netflix’s user base.

Around 20% of all Netflix viewing happens on mobile devices, but over 50% of all Netflix members use their mobile devices to access the service on a monthly basis. “We’ve put a lot of investment in mobile,” said Yellin. Some recent improvements include the launch of mobile downloads, as well as codec optimization to enable higher-resolution viewing with as little as 200 kilobits per second.

Netflix is famous for spending a lot of emphasis on testing its features before rolling out to its entire user base. Mobile video previews passed this test, but Yellin also admitted Wednesday that many features don’t make it.

One example cited by him was the idea of adding social features to Netflix. The company experimented with many ways to integrate social features in its service over the years, said Yellin: “We have tried and tried and tried.”

At first, the company tried to build its own social network, but it only saw 2% of its users participate. After shutting down that iteration, Netflix experimented with letting users share their Netflix viewing behavior on Facebook. “It didn’t work,” Yellin said.

These days, Netflix has a very different take on social. Instead of trying to recreate social networks, Netflix simply participates on them through dedicated accounts for some of its shows. “We have fans that are huge at a title level,” said Yellin.

More Digital

  • Oath - Yahoo - AOL -

    Verizon Is Officially Killing the 'Oath' Name

    Oath, we hardly knew ye. Less than two years after Verizon unveiled Oath as the name for the merged AOL-Yahoo internet group, the telco announced that the name will be discontinued, with Oath to be renamed the “Verizon Media Group” as of Jan. 8, 2019. Oath has been a disappointment for Verizon: The telco spent nearly $10 [...]

  • Quibi - Tim Connolly - Jim

    Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi Adds Ex-Hulu Execs Tim Connolly, Jim O'Gorman to Management Team

    Quibi, the mobile-TV startup led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, has tapped several Hulu alums among its latest hires. Tim Connolly, formerly senior VP of partnerships and distribution at Hulu, has joined Quibi as head of partnerships and advertising. Jim O’Gorman, previously Hulu’s SVP of talent and organization, is now head of talent and [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

  • Crunchyroll Kun Gao - Joanne Waage

    Crunchyroll Co-Founder Kun Gao Moves Into Advisory Role, Joanne Waage Heads Anime Service as GM

    Kun Gao, co-founder and former general manager of Crunchyroll, has stepped aside from day-to-day management of the anime-streaming service, which is now led by general manager Joanne Waage. According to a Crunchyroll statement, Gao remains “very much involved” with the service as an adviser and is “continuing to work on several projects.” In addition, Gao [...]

  • Charter Communications logo

    Charter Reaches $174 Million Settlement on Internet-Throttling Fraud Suit

    Charter Communications agreed to a settlement valued at $174.2 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging the U.S.’s second-biggest cable operator defrauded broadband customers by failing to deliver promised internet speeds. According to the terms of the settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office, Charter will pay $62.5 million in direct refunds to 700,000 active broadband [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    #LogOutFacebook: NAACP Calls for Boycott, Civil Rights Groups Demand Board Changes

    The NAACP is calling on Facebook users to take part in a one-day boycott of the social network this Tuesday to pressure the company to do more against disinformation and racial discrimination. Separately, a coalition of about three dozen social justice groups called on Facebook to remove key executives from its board of directors. Facebook [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content