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Streaming service Netflix can learn a thing or two from its nascent Asia business about the changing habits of consumers, its new chief product officer told CNBC on Tuesday.
Greg Peters, who has led the company's international development efforts from the Netflix office in Tokyo since 2015, will assume his new role in July, replacing veteran Neil Hunt.
"Part of what I'm excited about doing is bringing a lot of the experience that I've had here over the last three years working in Asia, and also working across various categories, like content creation and marketing," Peters told CNBC's "The Rundown. "
One takeaway from Asia: The prevalence of the mobile-first environment that dominates many regional markets, Peters said.
Last year, Netflix introduced a "download" feature that allows users to watch shows and films on their handheld devices at times when they do not have access to the Internet — for example on flights that do not have in-seat entertainment.
"We're learning things that are happening specifically in Asia that I think will be indicators of where the rest of the world goes. Mobile is a great example," Peters said.
Another aspect is the viewing quality of the content on mobile, particularly in places where connectivity is slow. In many developing regions, particularly in Asia, people are connecting to the Internet using their cellular networks as broadband infrastructure are still being developed.
"That's really important for people that are going to do more and more consumption based on mobile," said Peters. He added that Netflix has focused on making their video encoding as efficient as possible so that even on a low bandwidth, users can experience high-quality streamed content.
"We've really, really focused on providing as efficient as possible an encode, so that we can decrease the bit-rate," he said. "In our latest mobile encodes, you can do 25-hours of streaming in a 2GB data plan."
More broadly, Peters said the vast amount of data being generated by Netflix users — on the shows they watch, those they do not watch and how they're using the streaming service — could help the company develop a more personalized experience for each user over the next few years. This involves Netflix investing in technology to improve its algorithms and using data sets to recommend specific titles to users and telling them why they might be interested in those titles.
While Netflix has several global and regional competitors, Peters said the biggest competition came from vying for a user's time and attention.
"We're competing with reading a book or going out with friends or, of course, watching regular television or these other over-the-top new competitors," he said.
In its most recent earnings report, Netflix posted better-than-expected numbers and revenue that was in line with analysts' estimates. But the company added fewer subscribers than expected and forward earnings guidance fell short of forecasts.
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