Netflix just added a new position to its leadership team: Greg Peters, who previously worked as VP of Product Development for the company, got promoted to be Chief Platform / Partnership Officer, according to an SEC filing. The appointment hasn’t been officially announced by the company yet, and I’ve yet to hear back from Netflix about it, but it seems like there is more to this than just a new job title and presumably a nice pay raise for Peters:
Netflix has significantly stepped up its game in the consumer electronics space in recent months. TV manufacturers and companies that build companion boxes like Roku or Apple TV have long seen Netflix as a must-have app for their devices, but only in recent months has Netflix started to have an impact on the development of these devices that goes far beyond its own app.
Case in point: The open multiscreen discovery protocol DIAL was developed by Netflix engineers, who cooperated with folks from YouTube and others on this. DIAL is not only one of the technical foundations of Google’s Chromecast device, it’s also increasingly being implemented by other TV and consumer electronics companies to allow TV viewers to control these devices with their tablets and mobile phones.
But Netflix seems to think even further ahead. Netflix Partner Devices Director Scott Mirer recently told me that the company has been engaged in direct talks with chip makers and top consumer electronics manufacturers to get them to rethink TVs with an online use case in mind. Netflix wants companies to make better smart TV user interfaces, but it’s also interested in more fundamental changes, including the addition of low-power wireless networking standards and a true sleep mode that would allow consumers to instantly resume an online video after turning a TV off and back on.