NAILBA Perspectives Winter 2020 - Page 4

CEO COLUMN

Microlearning in a Netflix world

Unlike traditional broadcasters , Netflix ’ s goal isn ’ t to appeal to as broad an audience as possible but rather to cater to niches and effectively give every slice of the population a show or movie they can ’ t live without .
Dan LaBert , CEO NAILBA DLaBert @ nailba . org
When I first took the reins of NAILBA in 2017 , many industry events would commonly refer to the term “ innovation ” as trendy subject matter for a pretty stagnant industry . After all , . 25 % to 1 % end of year gain in a low interest environment has been pretty much the norm .
Meeting Planners and Event Directors were quick to rule out streaming options for any conference content as to avoid disrupting in-person registration fees and sponsor / exhibitor investments .
Fast forward to 2020 and the marathon race we ’ ve all been running leads to a more accurate description , we must innovate in order to survive ! With technology , no task is insurmountable .
Q4 for NAILBA and all of independent distribution is an opportunity to finish strong and assess what is needed for 2021 . We ’ ve all sat on way too many Zoom or Microsoft Teams calls and had our schedules extend further into the evenings only to realize , “ oh , I can watch the presentation or listen to the recording on-demand .”
Are you a movie lover ? I am . There used to be a time where the only place we can watch movies was either on cable TV or at the movies . I remember watching The Karate Kid in 1985 when it debuted on ABC via their Sunday night movie feature ( Yes , I am big Cobra Kai fan ). Many movies were less accessible until VHS tapes were released . Remember Blockbuster Video ? It was either the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat when you found the movie you wanted to watch and confirmed the actual video was in stock ( i . e . located behind cardboard promotion and taken in hand to the register for check-out ). Smell the popcorn !
All of this seemed to change when the world of streaming was introduced . Enter Netflix . Founded in Scotts Valley , California in 1997 by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings , Netflix began its current subscription model in 1999 . Now the company has over 117 million subscribers in 190 countries . Most of the platform ’ s available TV shows , movies , performances , and documentaries are licensed from distribution partners .
Unlike traditional broadcasters , Netflix ’ s goal isn ’ t to appeal to as broad an audience as possible but rather to cater to niches and effectively give every slice of the population a show or movie they can ’ t live without . Though Netflix is widely considered to be the platform that is winning the streaming-video wars , it has not rested on its laurels when it comes to improving the service per Forbes Magazine .
A massive redesign in 2017 , focused on a combination of creativity and data science insights , encourages Netflix ’ s subscribers to serendipitously discover what to watch rather than tediously browse its catalog and wonder if something is worth sampling . The company also unleashed a download-and-go feature that allows users to watch shows offline , and has expanded into 130 new countries . This effort was followed up by a push to improve Netflix ’ s mobile experience since many people prefer to watch video ( offline ) on their phones .
CEO Column continued on page 6
4 Perspectives Q4 2020