November 7, 2020
Netflix created the on-demand VOD experience to disrupt the linear TV ecosystem. Now its going old-school testing a concept called “Netflix Direct” that acts like a linear TV channel streaming pre-programmed content available only to subscribers on the service’s website.
The streaming behemoth began testing the channel in France on Nov. 5, streaming French, U.S. and international content like a a traditional TV channel. Users simply watch what’s available rather than searching for content or browsing recommended programming.
Netflix chose France due to the country’s heavy trend toward television consumption. After a sluggish start, Netflix France now reportedly has about 9 million subscribers.
“In France, watching traditional TV remains hugely popular with people who just want to a ‘lean back’ experience, where they don’t have to choose shows,” Netflix said in a translated statement.
Netflix ended its most-recent fiscal period with more than 195 million subscribers worldwide. With subscriber growth waning in North America, the streamer’s focus has been on international sub growth. Old-style appointment viewing is geared toward subs who don’t want to search for programming.
“Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide [on a show], or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different,” the service stated.