How Does Netflix Get Us To Binge Watch?

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It’s well known that Netflix has made history by revolutionizing the way we consume and interact with TV series and movies. This process has required considerable experimentation and result testing, leading to the invention of a past time we now know and love: binge-watching. In this episode, Gibson Biddle, one of the leaders who established the fundamentals for Netflix success joins the show to have an insightful conversation from what predicts our movie preferences to conversion rates of free trials. We also get into a light chat on the ethics of autoplay and deep dive into the theory of revealed preferences.

Research for this episode was compiled and summarized by Irrational Labs. Read and download the Netflix Citations.

Jump straight into:

(01:10) - Introducing Gibson Biddle: A product leader who helped pave the way to success at Netflix.

(02:46) - Early test results focused on retention improvement: Why waiting and anticipating may be the key to maximizing happiness from an experience.

(09:45) - Non-intuitive preferences, enjoyment, and prediction errors: Is movie rating actually helping Netflix improve retention?

(15:23) - Past behavior makes future choices: The essential data behind movie taste prediction.

(17:33) - Revealed preferences and the effects of highlighting movies and shows: How much of my taste is determined by the algorithm?

(23:43) - The radical binge-watch invention: A conscious perspective on the efficiency of episodic TV formats.

(27:42) - Rapid-fire questions: Adapting the algorithm, the value of new members, free trial reminders, and Gibson’s career on A/B testing for consumer behavior research.

(37:07) - Positive actions payback: Explaining reciprocity principles and quitting brand benefits to grow trust in consumers.

(39:49) - The balancing act between discipline and chaos: Gibson’s career advice on constant experimentation.