Kirsty Price, public relations officer at Netflix gives us the 411 on the internet streaming service that has 125 million subscribers choosing it for their entertainment value.
TS: How did the concept come about?
KP: Reed Hastings always tells the story of how the idea came to him when he received a late fee for returning a video tape- Apollo 13- late. From here the idea was born in 1997 to create a DVD by mail service which then evolved into Online Streaming in 2007.
Netflix is now available worldwide in over 190 countries.
TS: How would you explain Netflix to someone exposed to it for the first time?
KP: Netflix is an online streaming service that allows customers to watch what they want, when they want, where they want. Netflix offers a wide variety of award-winning TV shows, movies, documentaries and more, from virtually anywhere, on internet connected TVs, tablets, phones, gaming consoles or computers. You can view unlimited content without having to watch a single advert and there's always something new to discover with new content added daily.
Netflix produces in-house content such as Narcos, Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why and The Crown as well as Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark. These productions are called Netflix Originals. They also partner with content providers to license streaming rights for a variety of TV shows and movies.
The service is based on an algorithm that helps you to discover new shows. It picks up on certain viewing habits and provides viewers with relevant content that goes beyond basic genres and titles, but more towards a variety of other content that may be of interest to you. The more you watch, the better Netflix gets at recommending TV shows and movies you’ll love.
TS: Why did you decide to give people the option of a free trial?
KP: Netflix is a consumer first brand and as a consumer you should be able to do as you wish, when you wish. Netflix believes consumers have the right to experience the service free of charge before they make a financial commitment and allows you the option to cancel your subscription if you would like to at no cost.
KP:There are various Netflix friendly devices on which you can get your binge on:
Smart TV, Laptop and Desktop, Phone, Tablet, Xbox, PS4, The Kwese Play streaming box (powered by Roku), Apple TV
TS: Would you say streaming is a better option for viewers? Why?
KP: It is totally up to the consumer, as mentioned we are a consumer first brand and streaming on Netflix allows the flexibility to watch what you want when you want. You can pause if you want to, you can download content if you want to, you can rewatch if you want to, you can watch more than one episode at once and aren't constricted to a particular air time.
In terms of convenience, choice and affordability, streaming is proving to be a great option.
TS: What do you want people to know about Netflix?
KP: Netflix is for everyone in the sense that the platform allows you to create individual profiles for each family member and the algorithm will ensure that your recommendations are based off of your show preferences. As a parent, you can set up a kids profile and have peace of mind that your child is watching safe and entertaining content.
In South Africa, where data costs are high, we want consumers to be aware of the measures we have to improve your viewing experience without using too much data. Our adaptive streaming engine allows us to automatically adjust the bitrate of the video stream based on a member’s bandwidth so we can eliminate buffering. We do this by encoding video content for a multitude of devices and formats so we can deliver the one that will provide the best viewing experience.
TS: What are your top 5 picks for a beginner who is set on becoming a binge watcher?
KP: These are the 5 titles that we found that South Africans binged on first when they first signed up to Netflix -