Countdown: The Secret Netflix Meetings

[Netflix headquarters]

EXEC 1: How many seconds do we have between episodes right now?

EXEC 2: Well, as you know, we started out with two minutes before autoplay kicked in, and we’ve worked our way down to just five seconds.

EXEC 1: How are our viewership numbers?

EXEC 2: Every time we shave a second, they go through the roof, but then they plateau again.

EXEC 1: O.K., I think we know what we need to do.

EXEC 2: What?

EXEC 1: Take it to four.

EXEC 2: Four seconds? But . . . people already don’t have enough time to
think—

EXEC 1: Do it!

(A week later)

EXEC 1: How are the numbers?

EXEC 2: There was a decent spike, but it seems to have levelled off again.

EXEC 1: Levelled off, huh? Well, I think we know what we need to do.

EXEC 2: Please. This is wrong. What you’re doing is wrong.

EXEC 1: Go to three!

EXEC 2: People have things to do. . . . Laundry—

EXEC 1: Make it two!!!

(A week later)

EXEC 1: Well?

EXEC 2: Spiked . . . and levelled off.

EXEC 1: Go to one!

EXEC 2: No. I won’t! People need to sleep. I refuse to do it!

EXEC 1: Do it!

EXEC 2: I can’t!

EXEC 1: You’re right, you can’t—because you’re fired!

EXEC 2: You’re sick, you know that? You’re a monster.

EXEC 3: I’ll do it!

EXEC 1: Great. Go to one! Do it!

EXEC 3: I’m doing it!

(A week later)

EXEC 1: Well?

EXEC 3: I think we might need to go to . . . zero. Can we even do that?

EXEC 1: Can we do it? Ha! Of course we can do it! DO IT!

(A week later)

EXEC 3: We’re out of seconds. I don’t know what to do.

EXEC 1: Out of seconds? I see. I didn’t want it to come to this.

EXEC 3: Come to . . . what?

EXEC 1: It’s time to start the next episode while the previous one is still playing.

EXEC 3: Beg your pardon?

EXEC 1: You heard me. Ten seconds before an episode ends, start the next one inside one of those little window thingies in the corner. Do it!

EXEC 3: Won’t that be confusing?

EXEC 1: There’s nothing confusing about record-breaking viewership numbers. Do it!!

EXEC 3: O.K.

(A week later)

EXEC 1: Start the current episode and the next one at the exact same time! DO IT!!!

EXEC 3: What?

(A week later)

EXEC 1: Play the next episode before the current one! Flip them! Do it!

EXEC 3: Why?!

(A week later)

EXEC 1: Play half of one episode, and then follow it with the second half of the next episode! Scramble them up! Do it!

EXEC 3: How?!

(A week later)

EXEC 1: Play EVERY episode in an entire season simultaneously! Multiple windows! DO IT!!!

(A week later)

EXEC 1: Why the long faces in here, everyone? What’s the matter? Are the numbers down?

EXEC 3: I guess you could say that.

EXEC 1: What do you mean?

EXEC 3: Everyone’s . . . dead.

EXEC 1: What? Who’s dead?

EXEC 3: Our viewers. We killed them. We killed them all.

(Pause)

EXEC 1: We . . . killed them? Oh, my God. That’s . . . that’s gonna hurt our numbers.

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