Industry News

A Few Words About Netflix’s Success: Vivid. Snappy. Tags.

14 January, 2024

Grey’s Anatomy is “soapy” and “emotional”. Emily in Paris is “campy” and “quirky”. Our Planet II is “relaxing” and “captivating,” while Gravity is “suspenseful” and “visually striking.”

Words such as these — displayed near the synopsis and movie-poster-style tile for each one of the thousands of titles on Netflix — appear to be scooped out of a grab bag. In fact, they are a critical tool to induce viewers to click play, and a key to Netflix’s dominance.

Julia Alexander, the director of strategy at the research firm Parrot Analytics, said the tags probably worked on a subtle level. As potential viewers, “when we see the term ‘gritty’ or we see the term ‘cerebral,’ we understand intrinsically what that means,” she said.

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