Former Netflix Exec: Personalization Crucial to Company's Success

July 11, 2018
Updated 2mo ago

By Bridgette Webb

Netflix has gone through a whirlwind of changes since its 1997 launch. Evolving from a DVD rental company to a global leader in video streaming that's disrupted an entire industry.

And a key reason for its growth, according to the company's vice president of product Gibson Biddle, has been the its ability to deliver personalized recommendations.

"Even in the early days, we were trying to get to know a member and their movie taste...and then magically connect them through algorithms," Biddle said in an interview on Cheddar Wednesday."

That strategy has helped Netflix grow its subscriber base to 125 million users worldwide. That reach is something that originally seemed outrageous to Biddle.

"In 2005 we put it out there that by 2010 we'd have 20 million subscribers," he said. "That felt audacious at the time."

Biddle left Netflix in 2010 and served as Chief Product Officer at Chegg until 2015.

Netflix reports earnings after the bell on Monday. It's expected to have added 6.2 million subscribers in the quarter, bringing its total to 131.2 million globally.

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