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Netflix’s Recipe For Success Includes ‘Secret Sauce’ Spiced With Silicon Valley Savvy

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Los Gatos, California – Although its video streaming service has a Hollywood shine, Netflix continues to draw on its Silicon Valley roots to remain ahead of traditional TV and movie studios.

The Los Gatos, California-based business, which is more than 300 miles from Hollywood, frequently uses its technological toolkit without viewers’ knowledge. It frequently employs tiny twists on the knobs of viewer suggestions to keep its 270 million global members satisfied at a time when most of its streaming competitors are experiencing waves of cancellations from inflation-weary customers.

Even when hit TV shows like “The Crown” or “Bridgerton” are popular, Netflix strives to cater to its diverse audience. One component of that mix is adapting summaries and trailers for its diverse lineup of episodes to each viewer’s interests.

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Netflix AP News Image

Netflix’s Recipe For Success Includes ‘Secret Sauce’ Spiced With Silicon Valley Savvy

Someone who enjoys romance may watch a story summary or video trailer for “The Crown” that focuses on Princess Diana and Charles’ relationship, but another viewer interested in political intrigue may see a clip of Queen Elizabeth meeting with Margaret Thatcher.

For an Oscar-nominated film like “Nyad,” an action fan may see a trailer of the titular character immersed in water during one of her heroic swims, but a comedy fan may see a lighthearted clip containing some hilarious banter between Annette Bening and Jodie Foster.

Netflix can pull off these variations because it thoroughly understands viewing habits gleaned from crunching data from subscribers’ histories with its service, including those of customers who signed up in the late 1990s when the company launched a DVD-by-mail service that lasted until last September.

“It is a secret sauce for us, no doubt,” Eunice Kim, Netflix’s chief product officer, said when outlining the complexities of how the company tries to entice different consumers to watch various episodes. “The North Star we have every day is keep people engaged, but also make sure they are incredibly satisfied with their viewing experiences.”

As part of that effort, Netflix is redesigning the home page users see when they watch the streaming service on a television. The improvements are intended to package all of the information that may appeal to a subscriber’s preferences more compactly, reducing “gymnastics with their eyes,” according to Patrick Flemming, Netflix’s senior director of member products.

What Netflix is doing with its previews may appear insignificant, but it can have a significant impact, especially if customers trying to save money begin to reduce the number of streaming services they use.

According to data compiled by the research firm Antenna, video streaming services experienced approximately 140 million account cancellations last year, a 35% increase from 2022 and nearly tripling the volume in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic created a surge in demand for entertainment from people confined to their homes.

Netflix does not divulge its cancelation or churn rate, but its streaming service added 30 million subscribers last year, the second-largest annual rise after its surge during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns.

A crackdown on viewers who were freeloading off Netflix customers and sharing their account credentials contributed to last year’s subscription surge. According to J. Christopher Hamilton, an assistant professor of television, radio, and film at Syracuse University, the corporation also benefits from technological know-how, which allows it to continue funneling shows to clients who enjoy them and believe the service is worth the money.

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Netflix AP News Image

Netflix’s Recipe For Success Includes ‘Secret Sauce’ Spiced With Silicon Valley Savvy

“What they have been doing is pretty ingenious and very, very strategic,” Hamilton stated. “They are definitely ahead of the legacy media companies who are trying to do some of the same things but just don’t have the level of sophistication, experience nor the history of the data in their archives.”

Netflix’s nerdy roots were originally derided by an entertainment industry that looked down on the company’s geekiness.

“It’s a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world?” former Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes remarked of Netflix in a 2010 interview about the threat it represented.

Not long after that rebuke, Netflix began mining its viewing data to figure out how to create a slate of original programming that would attract more subscribers — an ambitious expansion that forced Time Warner (now merged into Warner Bros. Discovery) and other long-established entertainment companies such as Walt Disney Co. to scramble to build their streaming services.

Although those expansions initially drew many customers, they also resulted in significant losses, prompting management changes and harsh cuts, including the abrupt termination of a CNN streaming service.

Netflix’s use of technology to retain members and raise its profits—the company’s profit increased 20% to $5.4 billion last year—is now widening the gap with competing providers still struggling to cut losses.

Disney’s four-year-old streaming service just became profitable following an overhaul managed by CEO Bob Iger, but he believes more effort is needed to catch up with Netflix.

“We need to be at their level in terms of technology capability,” Iger stated at a conference earlier this year. “We’re now in the process of creating and developing all of that technology, and obviously the gold standard there is Netflix.”

netflix

Netflix | AP News Image

Netflix’s Recipe For Success Includes ‘Secret Sauce’ Spiced With Silicon Valley Savvy

Netflix isn’t going to help its competitors by revealing its secrets, but the slicing and dicing typically begins with determining which viewers gravitate to specific genres — the broad categories include action, adventure, anime, fantasy, drama, horror, comedy, romance, and documentary — and then delving deeper from there.

In other cases, Netflix’s algorithms will attempt to predict a viewer’s mood at any particular time by evaluating which titles are browsed or clicked on. In other cases, technology can easily determine how to make a film or television series as appealing to specific viewers as feasible. If Netflix’s data shows that a subscriber has viewed a lot of Hindi productions, it would almost be a no-brainer to show footage of Bollywood star Alia Bhatt in a role she performed in the American film “Heart of Stone” rather than the film’s lead actress, Gal Gadot.

“We want to do a really good job putting the things that you prefer in front of you,” Kim stated. “Part of that is the content recommendations themselves, but it’s also about how we present the content to you.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Supreme Court, Siding With Starbucks, Makes It Harder For NLRB To Win Court Orders In Labor Disputes

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Starbucks | PixaBay Image

Washington: In a decision sparked by a labor dispute with Starbucks, the Supreme Court on Thursday made it more difficult for the federal government to obtain court orders when it suspected a corporation of meddling in unionization efforts.

The justices raised the bar on when a federal court may require worker jobs to be protected during a union organizing drive.

A higher standard, pushed by Starbucks that must be satisfied in most other disputes over court orders or injunctions, was favored by the court unanimously over a provision that some courts had applied to orders requested by the National Labour Relations Board.

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Starbucks | PixaBay Image

Supreme Court, Siding With Starbucks, Makes It Harder For NLRB To Win Court Orders In Labor Disputes

The National Labour Relations Act, which controls the agency, has, the NLRB had contended, permitted judges to issue temporary injunctions for over 75 years if they determined that the requests were “just and proper.” According to the agency, the statute was meant to restrict the power of the courts and does not need it to demonstrate any additional elements.

“Consistent federal standards are important in ensuring that employees know their rights and consistent labour practices are upheld no matter where in the country they work and live,” Starbucks stated after the ruling.

However, Lynne Fox, head of the union representing the workers, claimed that Starbucks should have abandoned the lawsuit as part of its more accommodating stance on union organizing initiatives. When their employers disobey the law, working people have very few options for self-defense. That makes today’s Supreme Court decision especially horrible, said Workers United president Fox.

Starbucks fired seven employees in February 2022 for attempting to organize their Tennessee location. The matter moved through the agency’s administrative procedures while the NLRB won a court order requiring the employer to rehire the employees. Two years may pass during such procedures.

starbucks

Starbucks | AP news image

Supreme Court, Siding With Starbucks, Makes It Harder For NLRB To Win Court Orders In Labor Disputes

Starbucks was ordered to rehire the employees in August 2022 by a temporary injunction issued by a district court judge who concurred with the NLRB. Starbucks appealed to the Supreme Court following the upholding of that decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to Workers United, the union organizing Starbucks workers, five of the seven workers are still employed at the Memphis store, while the other two continue involved with the organizing campaign. The Memphis store voted to unionize in June 2022.

As the case proceeded, antagonism between Workers United and Starbucks began to dissolve. The two parties declared in February that they would reopen talks to complete contract agreements this year, and they convened their first bargaining session in nearly a year in late April.

starbucks

Starbucks | PixaBay Image

Supreme Court, Siding With Starbucks, Makes It Harder For NLRB To Win Court Orders In Labor Disputes

According to the NLRB, workers at 437 company-owned U.S. Starbucks cafes have voted to unionize since late 2021, but none of those stores has achieved a labor agreement with Starbucks.

Starbucks said it’s pursuing its goal of obtaining finalized contracts for those outlets this year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Elon Musk Drops Lawsuit Against ChatGPT-Maker OpenAI Without Explanation

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Musk | AP News Image

SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk dismissed his lawsuit against OpenAI just before a scheduled hearing on Wednesday.

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Musk | Euro News Image

Elon Musk Drops Lawsuit Against ChatGPT-Maker OpenAI Without Explanation

Musk sued the San Francisco artificial intelligence business and its CEO Sam Altman in February, accusing them of betraying the ChatGPT maker’s basic goals of serving humanity rather than maximising profits.

In the February lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court, billionaire Musk claimed that when he bankrolled OpenAI’s creation, he reached an agreement with Altman and the president, Greg Brockman, to keep the AI company as a nonprofit that would develop technology for the public’s benefit and keep its code open rather than walling it off for private profit.

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Musk | AP News Image

Elon Musk Drops Lawsuit Against ChatGPT-Maker OpenAI Without Explanation

However, Musk claimed in the complaint that by embracing a tight relationship with Microsoft, OpenAI and its top executives “aflame” that pact and are “perverting” the company’s objective.

Most legal experts believe Musk’s accusations, which revolve around allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair business practices, are unlikely to succeed in court. Musk’s attorney submitted a notice on Tuesday seeking to dismiss the entire case. There was no explanation for why it was being dropped.

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Musk | AP news Image

Elon Musk Drops Lawsuit Against ChatGPT-Maker OpenAI Without Explanation

Musk’s lawyers and OpenAI did not immediately return calls for comment.

SOURCE – (AP)

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American Investor Martin Shkreli Accused Of Copying And Sharing One-Of-A-Kind Wu-Tang Clan Album

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Martin Shkreli | AP News Image

NEW YORK — Martin Shkreli, an American investor, is facing a new lawsuit for allegedly storing and sharing recordings from a unique Wu-Tang Clan album that he was forced to sell after being convicted of securities fraud in 2017.

PleasrDAO, a cryptocurrency collective, filed the case on Monday after paying Shkreli $4.75 million for the only known copy of the album. The record, “Once Upon a Time is Shaolin,” has remained unreleased to the public, serving as a rare contemporary art piece since it was auctioned off by the renowned hip-hop group in 2015.

PleasrDAO accused Shkreli of violating their agreement by retaining digital copies of the album and circulating them extensively among his social media followers in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

shkreli

Shkreli | AP News Image

American Investor Martin Shkreli Accused Of Copying And Sharing One-Of-A-Kind Wu-Tang Clan Album

They allude to his recent social media posts boasting of distributing the digital recordings to “thousands of people.” According to the lawsuit, Shkreli played bits of the album during a livestream he hosted on X over the weekend, referring to it as a “Wu tang official listening party.”

Shkreli has not responded to a request for comment.

The lawsuit is the latest twist in a unique record created in protest of music’s devaluation in the streaming era but purchased at auction by Shkreli, a man infamous for inflating the price of a life-saving prescription and his “Pharma Bro” reputation.

shkreli

Shkreli | Coin Base Image

American Investor Martin Shkreli Accused Of Copying And Sharing One-Of-A-Kind Wu-Tang Clan Album

Following his conviction on securities fraud charges, Shkreli was compelled to sell the CD, which came in a hand-crafted silver and nickel casing and included a 174-page leather-bound book.

PleasrDAO stated that it purchased both the physical copy of the record and its digital rights in two transactions, in 2021 and 2024. They stated that Shkreli had erased all traces of the album’s files.

“Any dissemination of the Album’s music to the general public greatly diminishes and/or destroys the Album’s value, and significantly damages PleasrDAO’s reputation and ability to commercially exploit the Album,” the complaint claims.

shkreli

Shkreli | SF Gate Image

American Investor Martin Shkreli Accused Of Copying And Sharing One-Of-A-Kind Wu-Tang Clan Album

As of last month, the record was on its way to Australia’s Museum of Old and New Art, which announced that it would begin hosting private listening sessions this week showcasing chosen album tracks.

SOURCE – (AP)

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