Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt said in a briefing today with journalists in San Francisco that the company plans to explore streaming mobile-specific cuts of its original movies and TV shows, to satisfy what he said was a growing audience of mobile Netflix watchers.
“It’s not inconceivable that you could take a master [copy] and make a different cut for mobile,” Hunt said. To date, Netflix hasn’t been delivering different cuts for different viewing platforms, Hunt said, but “it’s something we will explore over the next few years.”
The idea to be would be to create a version of the content with scenes or shots that are more easily visible or immersive on a mobile phone, since certain shots can be hard to see or can appear diminished on a relatively small phone screen.
Hunt, who has been with Netflix since 1999 and is one of the company’s top executives, made the remarks as part of a two-day event at Dolby Laboratories and Netflix’s own headquarters, as the two companies gear up for the launch of Iron Fist. Much of the conversation so far has centered around the series being shot natively in HDR, a method that offers a more dynamic range of colors on the TV or movie screen in front of you. But Hunt, along with Dolby executives, emphasized that HDR isn’t just for big-screen viewing.
It’s been about a year since Netflix became available globally (with the exception of a few markets, including China) and since then it has seen mobile usage soar. In established markets like the US and Canada, most Netflix watching still happens on TVs, Hunt said; but in some Asian countries, especially India, “mobile screens are the majority consumption device.”