10 new Netflix developments you need to know about

10 new Netflix developments you need to know about
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By the time you read this, Netflix may have crossed the 100 million member mark.

“We remain incredibly excited about the opportunity in front of us to build a truly global and durable internet TV business,” the company’s leadership wrote in an April 17 letter to shareholders.

“We expect to cross the 100 million member mark this weekend. It’s a good start.”

Read more: Secret Netflix codes unlock super-specific movie genres

Here’s what’s new at Netflix

Chances are you may be one of the 100 million or so members who subscribe to Netflix! If that’s the case, here are some new developments you’ll want to know about…

Netflix is now all thumbs

Have you noticed the old star-based rating system is gone? It’s been replaced by a thumb for you to like or dislike content that populates your feed.

“The amount of usage we get with this new approach is over twice as many ratings [than in the past],” the company notes in the investor letter.

And here’s a fun little factoid: The star ratings actually dated back to Netflix’s early days as a mail-order DVD rental company!

A new algorithm tracks your viewing habits

Have you seen the new “percentage match score” when you’re poking around in Netflix? It’s an icon that indicates how likely you are to enjoy a new show or movie.

It’s also the public face of a new back-end algorithm that data mines your viewing habits to make recommendations about other content you may be interested in, according to Engadget.

Don’t like opening credits? You may be able to skip them!

It’s in preliminary testing now, but a “skip intro” button could be rolled out across the platform if it proves popular (and why wouldn’t it?!)

Netflix isn’t commenting publicly on the test, which is believed to be targeted at desktop viewers at this point. So we’ll have to rely on Twitter for early audience feedback…

Netflix doesn’t care about Amazon’s live sports ambitions

Amazon scored a big coup when it landed the right to stream Thursday night NFL games to its Prime members.

But Netflix isn’t playing sour grapes over the recently announced Amazon/NFL partnership.

“That is not a strategy that we think is smart for us since we believe we can earn more viewing and satisfaction from spending that money on movies and TV shows,” the company said in the investor letter.

The look of your thumbnails will be changing

This move isn’t expected to take place all at once in 2017, but you should expect to see a gradual introduction of videos to replace still image thumbnails.

A full phaseout of still image thumbnails in the interface is expected to take place over the next several years.

“Video for choosing video is an obvious direction, but doing it well through our interface takes judgment, creativity, and testing,” according to Netflix.

Netflix viewers are gaga for Adam Sandler

Both Netflix and its members are seriously in love with Adam Sandler.

“We continue to be excited by our Sandler relationship and our members continue to be thrilled with his films,” the company notes in its investor letter.

“Since the launch of [2015’s] The Ridiculous 6, Netflix members have spent more than half a billion hours enjoying the films of Adam Sandler.”

Next up for Sandler is starring in the Netflix original film, Sandy Wexler.

Premiere dates for new seasons are on the move

In the past, Netflix premiered new seasons of its most popular shows in the first quarter. That means you would have already been watching new seasons of House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black by now.

But such is not the case this year; unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a bit longer!

“In the second quarter [you’ll be] seeing new seasons of some of our most popular and most acclaimed shows like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bloodline [and] Master of None,” Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said during an earnings call.

Netflix might do same-day releases of original films to theaters

The company says its members should have first crack at new Netflix original flicks, but there may be some wiggle room there.

“We are also open to supporting the large theater chains, such as AMC and Regal in the US, if they want to offer our films, such as our upcoming Will Smith film Bright, in theaters simultaneous to Netflix,” the company tells investors.

“Let consumers choose.”

More Dave Chappelle is coming your way

Netflix noted that Dave Chappelle: Collection 1 drew the most eyeballs of any comedy special ever on the streaming service.

“Something like [the] Dave Chappelle [special] comes along and it’s in its own class in terms of excitement for consumers in viewing and excitement around Netflix,” Sarandos told analysts during an April 17 call.

Look for funnyman Chappelle to return in 2018 with another comedy special on Netflix.

Read more: Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Instant Video: Which one is better?

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Theo Thimou About the author: Theo Thimou
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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