If one thing’s for certain, Netflix loves trying new things and pushing the boundaries of what’s “normal” in digital content delivery. As such, it’s decided to experiment with delivering short video clips to improve its users’ mobile experiences.
According to Gigaom, the company was prompted to entertain the idea of shorter clips of its movies and TV shows when Netflix’s designers discovered 87% of its mobile users stick around for ten minutes or less. This makes sense considering most people aren’t going to be sitting down and watching a full-length movie or even a 20-minute TV episode on their phone.
The problem is Netflix doesn’t have any videos under ten minutes, so clips are an answer to that. On Thursday at Netflix’s headquarters in Los Gatos, California, design manager Dantley Davis said the company will test providing two- to five-minute clips of movie scenes, TV shows, and stand-up comedy, all taken from the Netflix’s current library of content. The company’s currently trying out a “Have five minutes?” content row on their mobile app, which is essentially a test delivery system for these short snippets. If everything goes well, the company could start offering these smaller pieces of content as a permanent feature.
Despite playing around the idea of video clips, Netflix isn’t planning on accepting user submissions — the goal isn’t to turn into the next YouTube or Vimeo. Instead, Netflix hopes that providing shorter video selections will not only boost the relevancy of their mobile apps, but keep mobile users more engaged with their content. This idea also works in conjunction with a new feature the streaming company released earlier this week where users can recommend content to each other. Allowing mobile users to recommend movie or TV clips makes more sense than the full-length versions.
This short-clip initiative also doesn’t hurt Netflix’s international expansion goals, which Davis said the mobile improvements would likely aid. Even if short-form content isn’t here to stay for Netflix, it seems the company will only continue to forge into unchartered digital territory for as long as it’s around.