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Netflix exploring live streaming for unscripted series and stand-up specials – report

By Kara Santos Published May 17, 2022 5:00 am

Netflix is reportedly exploring the world of live streaming on the platform.

As reported by Deadline Friday (May 13), Netflix confirmed that it is in the early stages of development of testing capabilities for live streaming in unscripted shows and stand-up specials.

The option for live streaming means that Netflix would actually be able to use the platform for live voting for competition series and talent contests such as its upcoming dance competition series Dance 100.

Netflix could also use the live streaming option for comedy specials like Netflix Is A Joke festival. The live comedy event, which recently wrapped in LA, featured over 300 stand-up performances from 295 shows including Dave Chappelle, Larry David and Pete Davidson. 

Many of the live shows were filmed with plans to air comedy specials and highlights on the service. With live streaming in the future, Netflix could potentially air the shows live, possibly with a few seconds delay in case things get too out of hand.

According to the Deadline report, other options for live streaming include live reunions for reality shows such as Selling Sunset, which just aired a reunion special for its fifth season.

The exploration into live streaming opens possibilities for a whole new realm of unscripted series to use the technology. The plans will bring Netflix head-to-head with linear networks, which often air live specials for big competition series such as ABC’s American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, which is moving to Disney Plus.

The streaming giant has already experimented with different release patterns for its unscripted series and social experiments such as The Circle and Love Is Blind and the live streaming option could further increase engagement and viewership on shows.

No clear timeline has been given for the live streaming capabilitites on Netflix, but a small group within Netflix is said to be in the very early stages of developing the product.