Although it might not be the type of content that gets a prime audience from its subscribers, Netflix’s recent decision to air their upcoming quarterly financial report through an online video chat rather than the usual means of press releases is fairly genre-savvy if anything else, with the company combining their specialty and corporate obligations to interesting effect.
One of the first attempts of its kind to premiere such news through audio-visual content, the broadcast, aimed primarily at investors, will not be seen by many as entering the realm of ‘Netflix original content‘ inhabited by shows such as House of Cards and Arrested Development, but will by a stretched technically be so, should they choose to retain their content online for on-demand consumption.
The format will see the company’s chief executive Reed Hastings, alongside chief financial officer David Wells openly discussing Netflix’s Q2 2013 financial results on Netflix’s website following market closure on 22 July, with a ‘Q&A’ addition to proceedings expected. The latter feature is essentially confirmed on account of Netflix’s plans to have the discussion ‘moderated by an analyst’, with a reporter addressing questions from investors and the public (by Twitter or e-mail) to the executives, with both personnel and the questions set to be decided in advance to avoid any potential mistakes that could occur by ‘not being prepared’.
However, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter is against the direction the new format will take, as he said of the Q&A twist to the process: “I’m not going to submit my questions in advance to a competitor or member of the press and let them screen them. I know this is Reed being progressive and trying to trail-blaze, but I think this is going to stifle the conversation instead of making it more dynamic.”
Netflix naturally disagree with negative opinions towards their fresh approach, claiming that streaming and audience interaction (to a certain extent) will make what is otherwise a fairly run-of-the-mill presentation: “…more informative, more interesting and more valuable.”
While it is impressive that Netflix are looking to make a dull corporate announcement more engaging to a wider audience, they are still left with a topic that few away from professional interest will look to watch, so hopefully they won’t take their ratings on this broadcast to heart…