Memba Netflix DVDs? Memba Netflix before Lilyhammer? Memba waiting for House of Cards? The streaming service has come one hell of a long way from those early days, which were only here 4 years ago, and Netflix is always striving to topple the competition and create a more unique and enjoyable experience for its many millions of subscribers. Its latest plan is to take a bigger look at a smaller picture, as steps are being taken to make specific edits and alterations to its programming to optimize things for mobile viewers. Sounds worrisome, doesn't it?
The first instinct may be to open one eye in the wariest manner possible, but there is something quite intriguing to be found in the most basic description offered by Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt. The goal wouldn't be to, say, make TV shows shorter or to chop sequences out of movies or anything, at least not exactly. Instead, they're mulling over how to draw focus to moments in its original TV shows and films that aren't always easy to see when watching on a mobile's limited screen space, such as small type on notes and signs. One would assume important moments happening in the background would also be in that classification, such as a mysterious character or vehicle passing by.
No specific format for this addition was mentioned, although The Verge reports Neil Hunt claims the goal is to either make things more easily visible or immersive in some way. Limiting this upgrade to only that, Netflix could do something pretty exceptional and revolutionary for viewers who opt for binge-watching on mobile phones and tablets. I can't tell you how many times I've had to pause a show on my phone when the camera passed by the name on a prescription bottle, or a small and important picture on a living room table, or something of the sort. The immersive aspect makes me think viewers will be able to tap hard-to-see visuals for a quick zoom-in, similar to how mobile web browsing works. Perhaps it'll be like on video games where text will come up in a standard font rather than one's handwriting.
Not to worry about anything going off the chains at Netflix too soon, though, since it doesn't sound like the team is too far into the process. Here's how Neil Hunt put it:
It's not inconceivable that you could take a master [copy] and make a different cut for mobile. [It hasn't happened yet, but] it's something we will explore over the next few years.
So it might not be until Daredevil Season 5 hits that we'll be able to zoom in on his sloppy legal briefs to check out extra clues. But we'll definitely be keeping an eye on anything happening with this potential optimization in the near future, as well as if it grows into something more irksome. In the meantime, check out our 2017 Netflix schedule, as well as our midseason premiere schedule, to see what's coming to the small screen in the coming months.