Buzzfeed and Netflix are teaming up on a new original docu-series designed for mobile viewing. Each of the 20-episode series — titled “Follow This” — has a run time of 15 minutes, making the series a bit more mobile friendly than Netflix’s other content.
“Follow This,” which premieres July 9 on Netflix, stars Buzzfeed reporters as they deal with the daily drama of being a journalist.
Produced by Buzzed News, “Follow This,” is executive produced by Jessica Harrop who also serves as show runner for the series. Other executive producers include Shani Hilton, Linzee Troubh and Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale. Jason Spingarn-Koff, Kate Townsend and Lisa Nishimura serve as executive producers for Netflix.
Netflix has slowly been pushing out content geared for mobile viewing, which accounts for less than 25% of the company’s traffic. Earlier this year, the streaming giant announced plans to launch a series of 15-minute stand up specials it says will rollout throughout 2018. Additionally, earlier this month, the streamer released an update to its mobile app that allows users to view 30-second vertical previews for movies and TV shows on the platform. To access the previews, users hold down on a circular thumbnails — almost identical to Snapchat Stories. If users come across something they like, they can add it to their watchlist directly from their phone.
The addition of short form content could help Netflix attract and obtain users who mainly use the service via a smartphone. This is because mobile viewers tend to prefer shorter, “snackable content” — 47% of all mobile video viewing is on videos 20 minutes or shorter, while 39% of views go to content 5 minutes or shorter, according to data from Ooyala.
In addition, the introduction of its mobile previews can also help to increase usage among the streamers core audience, who rely heavily on their connected TV to stream content. While on the go, these Netflix subscribers can use the app to browse through a collection of movies, saving the ones of interest for later, and driving longer time spent on the app overall.
Netflix’s short-form push comes as the company is adding subscribers at a rapid rate. The company beat analyst expectations and added 7.41 million subscribers in Q1 2018, up 50% year over year and ahead of its 6.35m forecast. The company now has around 125 million subscribers, with its international segment accounting for 55% of memberships and 50% of revenue.