Some Netflix subscribers have been getting access to original content before it's released to the public as part of a feedback gathering process by the streamer. According to Variety, for about a year Netflix has been reaching out to small subscriber groups and inviting them to participate in a panel to give feedback on the streamer's upcoming movies and shows ahead of their public release. According to an email sent to the group, Netflix describes this as "an incredibly important part of creating best-in-class content".
"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 reports the email as reading. "It's simple, but an incredible important part of creating the best-in-class content for you and Netflix members all around the world."
Those chosen to participate in the panel are asked to watch a number of movies and series over the course of six months. At the completion of the movie or series, they're asked to complete a survey that tells the streamer "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." Those who participate have to keep their involvement confidential and are asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Per Variety's report, the panels are said to "represent a range of perspectives". It's not clear how feedback from the panels impact the movies and television series that are screened or if the feedback is used for larger purposes in terms of development of additional programming.
Netflix has reportedly confirmed the feedback panels and that they have only taken place in the United States. The idea of getting viewer feedback and focus group testing isn't terribly unusual both for the industry and for Netflix more broadly. The streamer regularly tests features with subscriber groups as well, including "Shuffle Play", a programmed television channel, and even an audio-only option for mobile devices in recent years.
What do you think about Netflix's subscriber feedback panels? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.