Dear Netflix,

I signed my first subscription back in 2001… during the mail-order-DVD days and have been a true loyalist, ever since. Through two transfers of ownership, I have always been by your side.

It’s been a decade-long journey together but there are a few things you’re yet to learn:

  1. USE my data!- I’m not a user who enjoys musicals or melodramatic, slapstick satires – you keep suggesting genres that don’t match my taste. In times of turmoil, be it a bad breakup, feeling dejected by the world or even when I’m simply bored, I can count on you as a source of comfort and a trusted friend. I’d like suggestions that intrigue my inquisitive mind and give wings to my imagination. Please, by all means, use my data and behaviour analytics to better serve me, rather than just monetizing it by selling it to Ad platforms and partners.
  2. Proper Categorization- The suggestions I receive are often movies that I have seen umpteen times – why not properly populate the “Watch it again” category that you created for this very purpose?
  3. More than a ‘like’- I’m a movie maniac, ask me why I didn’t like a movie or show, and I’ll tell you. Perhaps, I loved the story/animation but just questioned the direction, treatment or casting. In other words, I’m part of a tribe with similar choices, tastes, and preferences. Why suggest movies that feature an actor, actress or storylines that dredge up unsavoury memories. For example; people who have been a victim of child abuse, might try to avoid that subject as a coping mechanism and recommending something along those lines could seem insensitive, although unintentional. I have evolved far beyond the confines of a basic viewer, who would judge a movie with a simple thumb up or down. I kinda miss your old star ranking system (bullied by Hollywood, are ya?)
  4. Continue watching credits? – I have the utmost respect for the people who made the films I love, but lord help me if I was one of those patient people who stay till the end of the credits. I generally exit a movie or TV series when the credit starts rolling. Please don’t add it back to the “Continue watching” section because nobody wants to continue watching the credits alone.
  5. Language Barriers- I speak about 5-6 languages which is an understandable limitation for most people. I often find myself disappointed when I receive suggestions that are created in a different language, without English subtitles. A little investment in Natural Language Processing (NLP) could take you a long way and providing these services to the production houses with budgetary concerns could carry you the extra mile. While we are on the subject of closed captioning, why offer subtitles in the native language, based on my present location? With geotags updating you on my whereabouts, regional content in a common tongue aka English would be a better way to go!
  6. Proxy, Compliance and a Solution for the Globetrotters-This love-hate relationship with proxy really isn’t panning out, especially for those of us who travel regularly on business. We understand the concerns legal compliance and distribution rights; however, is a solution for the traveling salesmen/women too much to ask for?
  7. User-generated content- I’m so thankful for the new initiatives and content, being produced on the basis of inputs from your captive audience. These insights also benefit movie studios, while planning for a sequel. For example; fan fiction has fueled sequels of Star Wars and even the Marvel saga. Providing a platform where fans can share positive suggestions, possible storylines and plots could potentially play a critical role in improving the quality of the programs and will subsequently garner a larger number of loyalists.
  8. Experimenting with 3D- In the age of casting and virtual reality, would it be possible to create a section for 3D movies, supported by specific user-owned devices? People who missed out on the 3D experience of a blockbuster movie in theatres would love this feature. A certain segment of the audience would rather wait for the Netflix 3D release than watch it in a cinema hall.

In conclusion, you are the best date a user could have and have already won hearts all across the globe. You have spoiled us for choice and set the new standard for our expectations. The more we watch, the more we want! I’ve listed but a few of my recommendations for you- won’t you listen?

With Sincere Thanks,

Your Loyal Subscriber

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Chirantan Ghosh
Chirantan is a senior Marketing-Communications executive with a Branding Advertisement background, instrumental in driving awareness and shaping the reputation of the esteemed companies predominantly in North America (Capgemini, Google, Publicis, Sony, etc.) and have two patents that are used by Capgemini+IBM and Google(Double Click DART). Chirantan heads Communication and Digital Marketing for a global strategic business unit of Tata Consultancy Services(TCS). Earlier he was CMO of JIS Group and DMS of a leading social networking platform. Chirantan’s core competency revolves around Marketing Strategy, Branding and Digital Media. He specializes in restructuring/redesigning Branding, Corporate Communications for effective strategic marketing (B2B and B2C) with an experience of 18+ years in publishing, multimedia and graphic design. Chirantan attended Norendrapur Ramkrishna Mission Vidyalaya as his high school in Kolkata, India. He spent his college life in New York being educated in New York Institute of Technology and New York University. Ghosh is credited for two Industrial Patents on SEO and Search Marketing, presently utilized by blue chip companies.

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