Netflix says it could start giving you different versions of shows depending on how you're watching

Netflix wants to recut some of its original shows and movies so that they will be better to watch on your smartphone, the company’s head of product, Neil Hunt, said in a press briefing Wednesday.

“It’s not inconceivable that you could take a master [copy] and make a different cut for mobile,” Hunt said, according to The Verge. “It’s something we will explore over the next few years.”

This idea was something brought up by writer-director Hannah Macpherson in a recent interview with Business Insider. Macpherson created the murder-mystery series “[email protected],” which has been one of the few hits on Verizon’s mobile-focused go90 video streaming service.

Macpherson said that a common misconception, especially of teens, is that the videos they are watching on their phones are all viral clips on YouTube, or similar short-form offerings. In fact, she said, they are binge-watching entire Netflix shows. Length isn’t as much of an issue for smartphones as you might think, but the problem is that certain shots won’t translate well because details can be hard to see.

“You cannot have that massive wide [shot],” Macpherson said.

From Hunt’s comments, Netflix seems to recognise this. Hunt also mentioned that this was especially important for some Asian countries, including India, where “mobile screens are the majority consumption device.”

The idea of shooting once and then recutting for multiple formats is becoming important in the entertainment industry, especially for companies focused heavily on social-media distribution on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

“In TV, you shoot once and give everyone the same” video, Steven Kydd, cofounder of Tastemade, a Snapchat and Instagram heavyweight that focuses on food and travel, told Business Insider in a recent interview. “We shoot once” in 4K, he continued, “and edit into multiple formats, then take all the data back” from the platform after it’s published.

Now it seems Netflix might employ a similar system for pushing video onto various devices: from your TV, to your phone, to your laptop.

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