Netflix may be looking to claw back some of the market share it lost last year with a new membership tier called “N-Plus." This service would offer behind-the-scenes features, podcasts, TV show playlists, and the ability for subscribers to influence the creation of original content.
The news of this potential feature was spotted by Protocol (opens in new tab), and it all stems from an official Netflix survey sent out to select subscribers that lays out the N-Plus concept. The survey reads: “N-Plus is a future online space where you can learn more about the Netflix shows you love and anything related to them.”
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A Netflix representative told Protocol that the survey was part of the streaming giant’s ongoing effort to learn more about its audience and what new features they want from the platform. So, this could be an idea that Netflix is merely floating in order to gauge the response from subscribers.
One of the most intriguing features of N-Plus would be the ability for users to create custom playlists of TV shows or movies, and then share these curated lists with other Netflix subscribers. This could, for example, allow a user to collect all the holiday-themed episodes of several sitcoms in one festive playlist and then share it with the world.
The idea is taken even further as the survey suggests the playlist feature could also be extended to encompass music. This would allow N-Plus subscribers to create playlists featuring music from TV shows and movies.
Other additional content such as behind-the-scenes docs and podcasts seem pretty standard as Netflix has been creating this sort of content for a while now. Currently, Netflix opts to release this stuff mostly on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, but N-Plus could see the streamer put supplementary features behind a membership wall.
Perhaps the most radical suggested feature of N-Plus is the ability for subscribers to influence the creation of Netflix original content during the pre-production phase. Netflix would allow subscribers to weigh in on original content in development and gather feedback before filming has wrapped.
It’s a pretty interesting idea, but how much stock Netflix would actually put in any user feedback is the big question. We’re not sure that content creation by committee will lead to the best results. And it’s unlikely that many creatives would want to work in a system when they had to relinquish significant artistic control to a brain trust of Netflix subscribers.
Nevertheless, it could give Netflix another string to its steaming bow in order to hit back at the likes of Disney Plus and HBO Max that have seen growing success in the streaming world, where as Netflix has lost some of its dominance
While it remains unclear if N-Plus will ever see the light of day, or if it’s just an idea that is being tossed around, it does indicate that Netflix wants to be more than a TV and movie streaming service. Similar to how Spotify has expanded its reach beyond just music to include the likes of podcasts and audiobooks, Netflix clearly wants to grow its own platform, N-Plus could be its first step towards doing that.