Netflix immersive innovations

by Anastasia Deripaska

Netflix doubling down on streaming lead with immersive innovations

Despite its commanding lead in the streaming wars, it appears Netflix is not interested in taking its own advice - to Netflix and chill.When you’ve grown as large as Netflix has over time, everything starts to look like your competition. For the first time since streaming services became a thing, Netflix has less than one-half of the global platform demand share for all digital originals, dropping to 48.3% as of Q2 2021.Among the streaming services, its lead is still massive. The next closest competitor is Amazon Prime Video at 12.7%, followed by Disney Plus with an impressive 7.3% market share despite just two years removed from its launch date. But Netflix is looking beyond its fellow streamers when it considers the competition; basically anyone looking at a screen that isn’t playing one of its original programs or stockade of movies and old TV series is now a competitor, which means the likes of Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, live sports, even the website you’re reading this one! 

Getting Sticky With It

Any online presence knows that the way to keep members or visitors engaged is to keep giving them content that they want, which in turn keeps them clicking on more and more. Netflix, just like any other streaming service that broadcasts TV shows and movies, understands that its ability to be ‘sticky’ - that is, keep customers using its app and service for longer periods of time, can be much tougher than say for TikTok or Facebook. Why? Because a Facebook post might take 5 seconds to read and a TikTok video maybe 60 seconds to watch, but any show on Netflix is at least 20 minutes long. Even the process of binging a series on Netflix isn’t necessarily the behavior that Netflix wants, because eventually the show ends and there’s no guarantee that the customer will automatically go on to something else.

Going Interactive

The massive popularity of some of Netflix’s biggest original programming is leading to its next incarnation of offerings - interactive games that enhance the level of immersion that a customer can have with the service because they are based on, exist in, or are continuations of existing Netflix programming. The streaming service’s biggest hit of the last few years, Stranger Things, was the focus of a spin-off game mobile game for iOS and Android and launched after season One and before Season Two. It was a perfect bridge for fans of the show that wanted fresh content while waiting between seasons and a great jumping-off point for fans who were testing the waters to see if it held interest for them. 

Netflix followed that up with Bandersnatch, an interactive film from its science fiction anthology Black Mirror, that let viewers determine the course of action for the main character. The innovation won Netflix a pair of Primetime Emmy Awards.In August 2021, Netflix launched Viva Las Vengeance: Army of the Dead, a touring virtual reality experience based on Zck Snyder’s recently released zombie flick that was watched by 75 million subscribers in its first month on Netflix. The experience will go live in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C.It features up to six people fighting against virtual zombies inside a food truck that takes place over a 30-minute part of the movie. Making