After revealing an ambitious plan for global expansion earlier this year, Netflix is now looking to focus on what's arguably the most important part of its business: content. In a recent meeting at Mobile World Congress 2016, the video giant shared more details about what subscribers should expect next. And that mostly revolves around making a bigger push for original shows, improving the Netflix mobile apps on iOS and Android, and bringing support for high dynamic range (HDR) programming.
The company hasn't been shy to divulge its appreciation for HDR, but it's going all out on the technology in 2016. "We started exploring HDR content about one year ago," says Chris Jaffe, vice president of user interface innovation at Netflix. "It is the [obvious] next-level resolution in the playback experience." Over the coming months, there will be many HDR shows available on the platform, including Marco Polo season one and the highly anticipated second season of Daredevil.
But Jaffe knows it won't be easy, particularly given the amount of internet bandwidth required by this type of content. As such, he says, Netflix has already worked out various compression algorithms, which adjust the quality of the video based on its complexity and still serve it up at a high resolution. So long as you have a 16–20–Mbps connection, the experience should suffer from a minimum of buffering woes. Of course, Ultra HD content plays a major role in Netflix's strategy, too, and there are more than 300 hours of 4K programming expected to hit the streaming service in 2016.
Additionally, Jaffe says Netflix is launching 30 shows this year, including new seasons for existing series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, plus 10 original movies and a number of documentaries and exclusive content for kids. "[We have] 75 million members around the world; essentially that means 75 million different experiences," he says about the challenge Netflix faces to have something for everyone, from movies and TV shows to the algorithm used to recommend what you should watch.
On the mobile side, Netflix is expected to roll out a revamped iOS app tomorrow, featuring support for Arabic and auto-play episodes. Later this year, both the iOS and Android applications will also let you manage your data usage, in case you have a cap on your smartphone or tablet plan and want to limit streams to a certain quality.
Meanwhile, if you have a Chromecast, you can expect a second-screen experience to arrive "shortly," which is going to give you access to IMDb-like metadata from your iOS or Android device. It'll come in handy during those times when you don't know who an actor is, or want to know what other movies he or she is in -- the benefit here is that you're able to do it directly from the app.
You have to give it to Netflix for its appetite to keep growing across the board, but you also have to ask yourself if it's trying to do too much all at once. As always, however, only time will tell. For now, if you're a Netflix buff, there's no reason you shouldn't be excited about the company's plans for the near future.
[Image credits: Netflix, Getty Images]