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Some lucky Netflix subscribers have been watching movies and TV shows before the rest of us

Some lucky Netflix subscribers have been watching movies and TV shows before the rest of us
(Image credit: Lead Me Home / Netflix)

Some lucky Netflix customers have been getting early access to films and TV shows. And all they have to do in return is fill out a feedback form, Variety (opens in new tab) reports.

This feedback could inform any changes made to the content before it's made available to the rest of us.

This has been active since May last year, but has only just been revealed.

Netflix is known for beta testing lots of its features with a select audience before rolling them out to all subscribers. Examples include the Play Something button and the Top 10 row (but then it rolled out the two thumbs up button seemingly without any testing). But doing the same with the actual content it offers is new territory for the service.

Critics would say that this is creation by focus group, and that it stifles innovation. As Steve Jobs was fond of doing, they would point to Henry Ford's attestation that if you ask people what they want, instead of saying cars they would say faster horses. But then the movie business has focus grouped its product for decades, often changing the ending if it doesn't 'play well' with audiences.

Netflix recently suffered its first fall in subscriber numbers in over a decade. It has since laid off 150 members of staff and announced plans for an ad-supported plan as well as a way of stopping password sharing – two schemes that could take effect sooner than expected.

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Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.