“Watch more”. Strategies of enunciation in the video-on-demand platforms
In the framework of what has been labeled as “on-demand” or “algorithmic culture”, Netflix represents an exemplary case study and its interface increasingly affects how we access, choose and watch audiovisual products. This article aims to offer some methodological insights to analyze how Netflix's home page is organized and works and what kind of relationships it creates with its users. First, the article shows how the home page can be broken down into variable and invariable components and how these components are hierarchized, in order to understand what kind of virtual environment the user experiences and how Netflix is able to boost, foresee and forestall the users’ actions.
Second, the article focuses on the rhetorical strategies which allow Netflix to build its brand identity and shape the relationship with its subscribers. In this respect, the categories organizing and presenting content on the home page play a key role. Rather than simply being a taxonomic tool, Netflix categories create engagement, construct Netflix as a reliable subject, and definitely puts “trust” at the basis of the relationship between the brand and its users. We argue that the use of specific enunciative strategies has a fundamental role in presenting Netflix as a trustworthy brand, thus maximizing the effectiveness of recommendation systems and producing in the viewers the illusion of choice.