As previously reported, Netflix is slowly rolling out a big update to its Android app. This was revealed by the company at the GigaOm Mobilized conference.
This isn't the only interesting piece of news from the company from that event, however. Engadget reports that they also revealed they will start offering supplemental material for their shows via the streaming service. This means users may soon be seeing DVD-like special features accompanying their favorite Netflix originals. Nicole Lee writes:
Netflix's VP of Product Innovation, Todd Yellin, mentioned at the GigaOm Mobilized conference today that the company will begin testing enhanced content or extra features around its original shows such as House of Cards or Orange is the New Black. If that works out, he says Netflix is open to offering DVD extra-style content to other partner providers as well. "Hopefully if we try something like that," said Yellin, "We have that lightning bolt of an idea that it's more than just a tiny percent user game." For those who're in the process of giving up physical media, additional extras like these could certainly be welcome.
Hear that? That might be the sound of DVDs becoming obsolete. If you're thinking they already are, think again. There's a reason Netflix still offers its DVD-by-mail service. In fact, it's the only way Netflix currently has of getting the majority of its titles to customers.
But even for titles that Netflix offers via streaming, subscribers are missing out on a lot of great content. While obviously it varies from title to title, many DVDs are loaded with interesting extras - behind the scenes clips, director/actor/writer commentaries, trailers, alternate endings, deleted scenes, etc.
If Netflix is able to start offering this kind of stuff to streaming users, it's going to amount to a whole lot more time spent watching Netflix. It's probably also going to mean a decrease in DVD/Blu-ray sales, so it will be interesting to see how this evolves.
Even if Netflix never gets past its own shows with this stuff, it could add a lot of interesting content to the service. There is already plenty of extra stuff making its way to YouTube right from Netflix itself. It would actually make a great deal of sense for Netflix to provide this stuff straight to its users, rather than sending them to YouTube, which is in some ways a competitor, though it does serve as a great marketing vehicle.
In fact, if Netflix posted all of the content it does to YouTube to the actual Netflix streaming service, it could serve as an effective, untapped (and somewhat obvious) marketing channel for its upcoming content.
Image: Netflix (YouTube)