Netflix has been showing movies and TV shows ahead of their public release to small groups of subscribers in the US, according to a report from Variety. Subscribers who participate in the feedback panels will watch “several upcoming movies and series over the course of about six months,” Variety says, and after they finish watching a piece of content, they’re asked to fill out a survey. The company then takes that feedback into account for potential changes ahead of a film or show’s debut.
Netflix is well-known for testing many of its software features ahead of wider releases, like the Top 10 row and the “Play Something” shuffle feature, so it’s perhaps not too surprising that the company is also testing its content with small groups of users. The company has apparently been doing this since May 2021.
The groups could help Netflix zero in on potential hits as it tries to weather the fallout from its latest earnings report, where it reported losing subscribers for the first time in over a decade. Just today, Netflix laid off 150 employees and at least 26 contractors, and those cuts follow additional layoffs from April. The company has also announced that it is going to launch an ad-supported plan and that it’s cracking down on password sharing.
Disclosure: The Verge is currently producing a series with Netflix.