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Netflix experiments with content screen tests through select subscribers

Yahoo Finance media reporter Allie Canal outlines Netflix's proposal for subscribers to screen test content, while also talking about the streaming platform's new docuseries on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Video transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

SEANA SMITH: Netflix looking to expand its preview club program. This is according to a report from "The Wall Street Journal." Now, the program is giving some lucky subscribers the chance to give feedback on the streaming giant's content. Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal has more on this story. Allie, an interesting move here from Netflix.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Very interesting. So the preview club, this was started more than a year ago. And 2,000 or so subscribers would give feedback on content. And now, according to this "Wall Street Journal" report, they want to expand that to tens of thousands of subscribers by early next year.

And interesting that the "Journal" noted "Don't Look Up." I don't know if you guys saw that movie. But they said that they--

SEANA SMITH: I did, actually.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: --presented this movie to subscribers. And the initial feedback was that it was too serious. So they upped the comedic tone. And if you've seen it, you know it's very funny. So I wonder what it was like before this.

DAVE BRIGGS: They changed the tone of a film?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yes, yes. This is how--

SEANA SMITH: It is a very funny film. So I actually appreciate that feedback because I liked it.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: I appreciated it too. And I think this just speaks to the larger narrative going on in streaming. Netflix has been notorious when it comes to spending money. And now they need to make sure that they're getting the most bang for their buck ultimately. So interesting development, we'll see. We were just talking about how you get into the preview club.

SEANA SMITH: That's what I want to know. I want to know what you need to do to get into it. I am the-- I am definitely not going to get into this preview club.

DAVE BRIGGS: Wait.

SEANA SMITH: If I was in the preview club, Netflix would have to wait like three years in order for me to review one series. But I think it would be interesting to know how they do.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: And apparently, they provide employees with screeners. And they judge how quickly employees binge certain things to determine what will have-- be a hit and what they potentially need to change.

DAVE BRIGGS: I'm picking this one over this one.

SEANA SMITH: Oh, any day, anyone over me.

DAVE BRIGGS: You haven't seen a movie in the theater since pre-COVID.

SEANA SMITH: Although I did see "Don't Look Up" from Netflix.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: She saw "Don't Look Up."

DAVE BRIGGS: It's literally the only movie she's seen in five years.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: I didn't love it, but it was funny.

DAVE BRIGGS: Other than "Paw Patrol--"

SEANA SMITH: On repeat, yeah, and "Paw Patrol."

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Any children-- we'll put you on the children graph.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, I'm well-versed in that.

DAVE BRIGGS: Netflix also releasing a clip of the Harry and Meghan Markle docuseries. I'm trying to pretend I'm excited for that. What are the expectations though, for these two?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Oh, gosh, I think the expectations are high, just considering how well "The Crown" does, this fascination with the royal family, in particular the fascination with Harry and Meghan. These two, of course, did sign a multiyear deal with Netflix in September, 2020. It was reported to be valued at around $100 million.

And this is on top of all of their other deals. They have memoirs, books, a Spotify deal. So they're clearly establishing a business and a brand outside of the royal family. And as we were just talking about with Netflix, content is king. And now maybe content can also be a prince for the company.

DAVE BRIGGS: Well done.

SEANA SMITH: There we go.

DAVE BRIGGS: Well done.

SEANA SMITH: That was good job there, Allie.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: I've been dying to say it on this show. I'm like 50/50 chance it'll land.

SEANA SMITH: Are you going to watch it?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: I-- the trailer is very moody.

SEANA SMITH: It is.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: It's very mysterious. You just saw, it was shot in black and white. I am pretty curious about it. But we've been inundated with a lot of Harry and Meghan these days.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah. I think I'll give this one a shot.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: But I think it's-- and it's an easy one to put on in the background and watch.

SEANA SMITH: You don't look like you're convinced.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: He's not excited.

DAVE BRIGGS: No chance.

SEANA SMITH: You have a lot of time to kill on the train. Never say never. All right, Allie Canal, thanks so much for that.