There's no such thing as bonus content when you're streaming a movie or TV show with Netflix, but that's something the company may be looking to change. At the GigaOm Mobilize conference, Todd Yellin, Netflix's VP of product innovation, recently hinted that the streaming service is toying with the idea of releasing supplemental content — at least for its own programming. "We'll experiment with our originals," Yellin said, referring to Netflix's successful lineup that includes House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. He seemed to hedge a bit though, saying "no one ever knew how many people were really watching" special features that have long been packed into DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Netflix takes a cautious approach to the second screen
Yellin also revealed that Netflix plans to take new risks as it relates to the second screen. "If you're not testing things that fail, you're not testing aggressively enough," he said. "At Netflix, like any company, we have a certain number of chips to keep on innovating on our product," he said. "I want to keep on pushing those chips in the right thing to make a better and better user experience." Yellin said that Netflix has closely observed the approach others have taken when it comes to second-screen apps and experiences meant to complement primary content. He cited the Game of Thrones app that was marketed to HBO viewers last year as a "super elaborate" (and expensive) project that failed to reach any significant audience.
"Now that we have Netflix Originals, it's not like there won't be an original that comes along where I'll be tempted," Yellin teased. "Hopefully if we try something like that, we have that lightning bolt of an idea that it's more than just a tiny percent using it." Despite Netflix's play-it-safe approach, Yellin insisted experiments are inevitable. "It's not like we are not going to test that ever," he said.