Netflix chasing TikTok is not a magic method for extra eyes and better adoption
Netflix is a good place to stream a movie or show and has done a great job creating its own content. I use the service like many others and I have to say that I am quite happy with it. It’s cheap, gives me a lot of entertainment, and works on the best Android phones and almost anything with an internet connection, just like Skyrim.
But 2021 was an odd year for the service, with some schemes hatched to offer different types of content like games or TikTok-style shorts. It’s apparently not finished yet because the company TechCrunch has confirmed that it will bring Netflix Kids clips, which are short videos for (you guessed it) kids. I can’t help but think that this whole idea of chasing TikTok is pretty silly.
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One look at TikTok and it’s pretty clear why it’s successful: Its Mobile-First launches everywhere at once and has a top secret algorithm that decides what it recommends for you. Three things Netflix is missing.
Kids Clips (OK, that’s a pretty good name.) Will be coming to iOS in the US, Latin America, Canada, Australia, and Ireland with no knowledge of when Android will be released or the rest of the world. Your kids (or you, if you’re a fan of Netflix kids’ programming) are only allowed to watch 10 to 20 minutes of video at a time, and the videos are horizontal, which makes sense when you’re thinking of a young kid holding an expensive phone in his little paws.
Netflix has to do something, but I don’t think it is.
This is the same formula Netflix used to introduce its first TikTok-inspired feature called Fast Laughs. This type of rollout probably works best for the company. So far it all makes kind of sense, as TikTok is likely to crush Netflix and every other video service when it comes to engaging with short video clips.
Netflix isn’t TikTok, however, and trying to provide those features sounds like a great way to cheapen its brand to me.
I can’t blame the company for really wanting a piece of the mobile pie. When Netflix was just a great idea in a few great minds, no one knew how quickly mobile was going to become the de facto way of seeing and doing All. You can do everything from an online store to paying your taxes to a $ 20 loan to a friend using your phone, and a lot of people do this and more from the computer they can hold. So Netflix has to be thirsty to grow.
Nobody could have predicted that mobiles would grow that fast.
The problem, similar to Netflix’s mobile gaming plans, is having better ways to do all the things that are already there and they follow rather than lead. Netflix will never surpass TikTok, TikTok. It also won’t be able to compete with Apple’s App Store or Google Play when it comes to gaming (provided that feature eventually finds a way to satisfy Apple’s hunger for 30% of anything that’s not stuck on), unless it can do something different and better. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen so far is neither.
I find TikTok absolutely pointless and stupid, which is exactly why I like it. Pointless and silly short video clips can be a great way to kill an hour, and if you’ve never tried the service, you should probably pay close attention to data collection and privacy policies. Because of this, TikTok became the phenomenon it is; it’s different and has something that people like.
TikTok is stupid and that’s part of what makes it great. Don’t hate them for that.
Netflix may also have short programs that people like. You might love watching the short Fast Laughs videos on your phone and lots of kids spend hours holding Mommy’s iPhone and looking at kids’ clips (that’s a great name, though). But no idea is different or offers something new. TikTok has tons of short, funny clips, while Amazon and YouTube offer high-quality children’s programs in 20-minute increments. And believe me, your kids don’t care if they watch a 20-minute Peppa Pig video or a handful of 3-minute Peppa Pig clips.
The transition from the big screen to the cell phone won’t be easy for Netflix as the service was born to entertain people from the comfort of their TV. Netflix is still a great streaming service for your TV. And it’s good enough to hold its own against all the competition. Ideas like running full seasons of popular shows and producing quality content have kept us watching Netflix. However, I don’t know how Netflix can do the same when it comes to phones.
Chasing TikTok to want more Netflix on my phone probably won’t work that well. Of course, I didn’t invest any money in Netflix, so none of this concerns me. But I expect better ideas from people whose only job is to come up with great new ideas.
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