As anyone who works in digital media knows, the bread and butter of the typical entertainment blogger is the sort of article that readers skim on their phone while simultaneously playing Animal Crossing on their Nintendo Switch and half-watching the latest Netflix show in the background. These kinds of posts are designed specifically to populate the search results of queries like “who plays hot chef emily in paris” and “tiger king s2 release date” and “vanessa hudgens christmas movie trailer.” They are the bedrock of traffic and SEO optimization, the type of content that a writer is not necessarily going to highlight on their portfolio website, but that will at least help buy them some time to work on the stories they actually want to do.
Well, watch out, SEO bloggers, because Netflix is coming after your livelihood with an ominous, thudding “TUDUM” — that’s the sound that plays before every Netflix movie or show, and also the name of the streaming service’s new editorial platform.
Netflix chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John introduced the Tudum website on Thursday, calling it in a press statement “Netflix’s official companion site” and “a place where you can dive deeper into the stories you love.” In practice, what that looks like is a website that publishes pieces about Netflix productions along these lines:
Get the inside scoop: Has You been renewed? When does Season 4 of Cobra Kai come out? Follow along for the latest news.
Dig deeper: Is Maid based on a true story? What is a ‘kefta’ in Shadow and Bone? Where else have I seen the cast of The Witcher? Stories don’t have to end when the credits roll.
Extend the story: Where can I find the Squid Game tracksuit? What’s on The Harder They Fall soundtrack? How do I make the necklace from Outer Banks? Bring your favorite stories to life with helpful tips, tricks and lists.
In other words, all the ideas that I would pitch if I were a blogger who was short on time and a few extra thousand clicks behind on the monthly traffic report. 😔
Tudum will also incorporate Netflix’s copious amounts of data on individual users’ viewing habits. Those who choose to sign in with their Netflix profile for a “curated experience” will see stories related to whatever they’re currently watching, cutting away the middleman of Google and, hopefully one day, human thought.
This platform is part of the streaming juggernaut’s continued push into publishing. As Mia Galuppo writes for the Hollywood Reporter:
For the past couple of years, Netflix has been branching out with editorial offerings. This past June, the streamer hired Michelle Lee, Allure’s former top editor, for a newly created editorial and publishing role where she oversees the team focused on social media channels, podcasts, and other initiatives. Vanity Fair veteran Krista Smith jumped to Netflix, with recent bylines in Queue, and the streamer also hired Bitch Media’s editor in chief Evette Dionne as editorial and publishing manager. A growing number of writers and journalists are now employed by the streaming service.
As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat the tech giants who are poaching your colleagues left and right, join them. Netflix, please don’t tell my editors, but I’m available for work, too. I absolutely loved Red Notice.