Did NFLX Just Crack the Code?

Mar 14, 2021

Consumer behaviors are always changing. By now it’s clear that streaming is the new normal. In fact, LikeFolio’s proprietary tracking of people talking about streaming their shows has increased by a whopping 74% year-over-year.

But something else is changing, too… where consumers are consuming content. Eyes are shifting from the big screen to the small screen: mobile devices.

Consumer mentions of watching Netflix on a mobile device increased 20% YoY, continuing a multi-year upward trend.

Why is this relevant?

Last week, Netflix began rolling out “Fast Laughs, a mobile-first, short-form video feed that looks a lot like TikTok.

It tested the feature late last year with a subset of users (limited to iOS devices).

Initial consumer reaction was positive:

The feature allows users to speed through short clips of Netflix-hosted content (not just original), and integrates with the viewing platform itself.

This means users can scroll through the vertical feed on their phone, mark a show they may be interested in to watch later, or hit “play” and start watching the show or movie immediately.

This move makes sense for two reasons.

1. Consumers are ingesting short-form video content at a growing rate.

Here’s what we know about the space:

  • TikTok blew up in 2020, and consumer buzz is continuing higher in the current year. LikeFolio data shows TikTok Mentions pushing all-time highs. Mentions of downloading and using the app have increased by more than 150% YoY.

2. Netflix can leverage this feature as a funnel for content discovery and user engagement.

One of the largest pain points in Netflix mentions was picking out a show to watch. We’ve ALL been there.

Now users can watch a rapid-fire highlight reel: Get a feel for a show or movie without clunky searches or trailer previews — or a remote.

This helps to promote content discovery, while at the same time serving as a stand-alone entertainment alternative. It doesn’t take much to see other potential applications…

We’ve already witnessed how cross-platform integration boosts user engagement. Just consider Square, as it continues to beef up its Cash App platform offerings.

Netflix Needs to Retain Users

Currently, Netflix holds the highest volume of consumer mentions across all streaming peers in the LikeFolio universe.

But this space is getting crowded, and Netflix needs to find ways to leverage what it’s best at — original content — to continue to hold on to consumer screen time.

While this new feature sounds promising, it remains to be seen if it will actually move the needle for user engagement and retention.

That’s why it’s so helpful for traders to have a real-time pulse on all major metrics for Netflix:

  • User Growth (Purchase Intent)
  • Retention (Cancelation Mentions)
  • Consumer Happiness

At LikeFolio, we’re tracking these every day…

And we’re using these powerful consumer insights to spot opportunities in Netflix and hundreds of other consumer-facing companies.

When we spot opportunities, members will be the first to know.

Andy Swan,
Founder, LikeFolio