Netflix's Fan Event Reinforced The Biggest Problem With The Platform

The Netflix 2021 TUDUM event, while action-packed, emphasized the platform’s biggest problem: It has an overwhelming amount of content. Officially titled “TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event,” the September 25, 2021 event was named after the distinctive beat at the start of Netflix’s logo. Primarily, TUDUM was held to "entertain and honor fans from around the world," and its three-hour showcase revealed first trailers, sneak peeks, and premiere dates of more than 100 highly-anticipated movies and television series. 

While TUDUM was not the first fan event hosted by Netflix, with the 2020 TUDUM event in Brazil and Geeked Week in June, it was the first to include over 145 celebrities in its roster. Although there were different hosts per hour, the stars and creators of each show and movie also made an appearance. For instance, in the event’s first hour, hosted by comedian Lilly Singh, a Stranger Things teaser trailer was introduced by stars Gaten Matarazzo and Joe Keery, alongside the show’s creators, The Duffer Brothers. Speaking of the Upside-Down, stars Finn Wolfhard and Caleb McLaughlin presented the next part. Amongst the releases, a mini-panel of Netflix action stars Charlize Theron, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, and Noomi Rapace was even moderated by Bozoma Saint John, the company’s CMO. Furthermore, the last hour, emceed by Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan, launched teasers and premiere date announcements from shows like Emily in Paris, The Crown, and The Witcher.

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However, despite launching a promising torrent of announcements, TUDUM underscored what is probably the biggest problem with Netflix. The streaming platform has an immense amount of original content. However, it is virtually impossible for all of them to receive recognition, and only its most triumphant releases get enough attention. In most advertisements, TUDUM focused on the more popular Netflix works — from fan-favorite Netflix TV shows Umbrella Academy, Sex Education, Money Heist, and Cobra Kai to successful movies like Extraction, The Old Guard, and Enola Holmes, sidelining the others in their schedule. Although promoting these bigger releases might have been a strategy on Netflix’s end to attract more viewers, given that they have the biggest following, this also led to dozens of underrated content titles getting buried amidst the blockbusters. 

Nevertheless, there was an attempt to highlight smaller releases. They were even given their own “spotlights” as the celebration these works deserve — Young Adult, India, Anime, K-Content, Action, and Reality TV.  Additionally, a Netflix action panel on The Harder They Fall, Black Crab, Interceptor, The Old Guard 2, and Army of Thieves was held. However, because they were cramped into smaller windows than previous segments, they seem rushed and discussed only in passing. Moreover, with the sequencing of announcements in Netflix’s TUDUM, there might be a difficulty in holding the audience’s attention. As seen in the event’s live chat, fans were clamoring for updates about their preferred shows, ignoring what was currently being shown. 

However, that might not entirely be the fans’ fault. Instead, it might be better if Netflix goes beyond simply reaching out to the fandoms of their original works. Given that the platform faces increasing competition, Netflix can try to redirect their advertising efforts towards their lesser-known shows and films, and perhaps host a fan event exclusive to them. In that way, Netflix guarantees better exposure to their original content and better reception from their audiences.

NEXT: Stranger Things Season 4 Trailer: 11 Reveals In First Look Teaser

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