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The Netflix Queue Culture and What it Means for Ads

May 10, 2020  •  By: Renee Chemel

Among the many revolutions computers have brought us, few have been as drastic as the wholesale switch to digital media distribution and entertainment. At the forefront of this charge is Netflix, whose market share grows every day at the expense of traditional media vendors. 

This has a perceptible change in how people consume media – and advertising content – as they browse the web. In this article we’ll explore the Netflix Queue culture, and what it means for ads.

Capturing (and Keeping) User Attention

The key driver behind most infinite scroll mechanisms is a need to constantly keep the user engaged. This can be done through engaging content, eye-popping graphics, mind-bending headlines, or any of the other well-known attention capturing behaviors in online advertising. These information streams have evolved in ways that are often unique when compared against their more traditional counterparts.

Netflix’s Queue approach is a perfect example of this type of pattern. It is not enough to capture the attention of a user, but you need to keep them coming back for more. This manifests in a dynamic dashboard presented to the user each time they log in. This functionality combines hero images, engaging content, and prior user behavior to present a suite of content tailored to the specific wants and desires of the user. This type of targeting allows Netflix to only show you the content it thinks you will care about, which improves the retention of users that have committed to a monthly fee.

Presenting Continual Content

The first key element of this approach, and its effect on user behavior, is the need to present continual content. Continual content, such as infinite scroll patterns, repeatedly presents the user with new content options as the existing resources are exhausted. This manifests as an ability by the user to scroll continuously through your website’s information flow, updating the data as the browser moves.

At a first glance this poses a quick win – regular calls for your content mean regular chances to win your users’ attention. Given this, you’ll want to develop content that fits in with a continuous scrolling model. What is clever and pithy copy on the first read-through is rarely viewed so highly on the fifth. Focus on creating a set of ads to choose from, and varying which ads are presented as the user scrolls through and consumes your content.

Presenting Relevant Content

While presenting continually varying ads alongside your content is a great first step, it does not go far enough in capturing the minds of your users. As content has evolved, user interaction – and response to – your content has evolved alongside. Ultimately this means that the content you present to your user must not only be varied, but it must be *relevant* in order to capture their attention. 

Breaking through the noise barrier requires recognizing the desires that your users have already expressed. Leverage your users’ account data, past purchases, and the content being loaded to present ads that are related to your users’ interests, not the same copy that’s been ignored seven times already.

Why Personalization is Key to Long-term Success

The evolution of the web has given most users the expectation of continual, relevant content being available at their fingertips. The behaviors and patterns encouraged by the Netflix feed and scroll mechanisms affect user behavior, driving the methods in which they predominantly consume content. 

By adapting your advertising to match the consumption needs of your users, you’ll be able to leverage this in order to more deftly and completely capture user attention. Through varied and relevant ads, your content will spend more time in front of user eyes, thus improving conversion rates for your sponsored products. At PowerInbox, we specialize in ensuring that ad content is personalized and relevant to each user. Investing resource The Motley Fool used our extensive ad network to extend their reach and target users with relevant content, which led them to garner hundreds of new subscribers each month.

If you’d like to learn more about our advertiser network and ways you can begin to reach potential users with timely, relevant content, get in touch with us today.

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