Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Netflix Headquarters in Los Gatos, California. I was really excited to get a special peek into where it all happens! Netflix was the catalyst for me “Cutting the cord” and cancelling my cable subscription a couple of years back. As my cable bill steadily rose, I found that everytime I sat down to watch TV, there was nothing I wanted to see – so I’d turn it off and watch Netflix instead. I decided that since I wasn’t watching the cable as much as Netflix, why keep it?
And many people feel the same way I do. With Netflix becoming more and more competitive with its original series, it’s quickly establishing itself as a dominant force in the entertainment world. During our visit, we had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the real-life Piper Kerman behind Orange Is The New Black – which you’ll be hearing all about tomorrow! – and we also got a sneak peek at what original releases Netflix has planned in the coming few years. I’m not allowed to reveal specific titles, but I can say that they feel there is a void in TV shows not being geared to families as a whole – both kids and adults, and they intend to roll out shows that they feel caters to this. Suffice it to say, Netflix is not slowing down anytime soon.
We had a Q&A with several members of the Netflix team, including the Director of Global Kids Content, Andy Yeatman; the VP of Product Innovation, Todd Yellin, and the Director of Global Media Relations, Jenny McCabe. During our talk, they discussed the ins and outs of how Netflix works and how they are working to constantly improve algorithms and add new features. Todd Yellin explained how Netflix is seriously considering parental control options, but they want to make sure they would be easy-to-use and work without being cumbersome. As Todd pointed out, parental controls that are too restrictive end up not being used because they’re too much of a hassle for the adults setting them up, which essentially defeats the purpose.
Todd also said that Netflix will continue to advocate for Net Neutrality to get all customers fast Internet without slowdown. He said that Netflix reluctantly paid Comcast a fee to keep streaming the same for its customers, but this debate is not over.
Aside from the informative Q&A, we also had the chance to tour the building, seeing its cool offices decorated with things like “House of Cards” posters!
All of the meeting rooms are named after movies and TV shows, with glass panes in the office rooms decorated with likenesses of its namesake TV characters – for example, a “Sex and The City” room bedecked with a big image of Sarah Jessica Parker. During our tour, we also heard about some of the fun things that Netflix does, such as having all its new employees put on a play as their initiation!
Visiting Netflix HQ was such an awesome and unforgettable experience!