Netflix Adds Randomize Button for its 200 Million Subscribers

Netflix CEO Reed hastings

Netflix has reached the 200 million subscriber mark, COO and chief product officer Greg Peters said during an earnings Q&A. As a way to improve its service, the company has added a randomize button.

Netflix Randomizer

In a letter [PDF] to shareholders, revealed it added 8.5 million more paid subscribers during Q4 2020, helping it reach 200 million total. The total for the entirely of 2020 was the addition of 37 million subscribers, likely due to an increase in people staying at home during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Mr. Peters mentioned a new feature in its earnings call:

Our members can basically indicate to us that they want to skip browsing entirely, click one button, and we’ll pick a title for them just to instantly play. And that’s a great mechanism that’s worked quite for members in that situation.

As Netflix faces increased competition from rivals like Apple TV+, Disney+, and HBO Max, it has to find new ways to keep viewers subscribed. This means new sections like “Top 10”, “New and Popular” and “Worth the Wait” that were added in 2020. The company says it also plans to add one original movie every week in 2021.

In good news to shareholders, Netflix said it’s “very close” to being cash-positive without having to raise money. A goal is ‘repaying the bond at maturity out of cash on hand, as we are currently well above our minimum cash needs.”

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