Netflix VP: Chromecast could take second-screen TV mainstream

Netflix (s NFLX) is running on hundreds of devices, but these days, the company seems to be particularly excited about Google’s (s GOOG) Chromecast. That’s because Chromecast could open doors for consumers who have so far stayed away from second screen apps, explained Netflix’s VP of Product Innovation Todd Yellin at at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco Wednesday. “Chromecast … has gotten off to a really auspicious start,” said Yellin, adding that he hopes that this trend will continue.

Netflix partnered with Google for the release of Chromecast, and the two companies also cooperated on the creation of the DIAL multiscreen protocol that Chromecast is based on. But the most important part about Chromecast could be that the streaming adapter forces people to use their mobile device for everything. “With Chromecast, there is no UI on the TV,” Yellin said. Add the $35 price, and you might just have a product that gets people outside of the Silicon Valley to discover that their phone is simply the better remote control.

Asked about other possibilities for the second screen, Yellin remained non-committal. “Making an expanded second-screen experience … it’s not like we are not going to test that ever,” he said. But he explained that his company has been watching experiments like HBO’s Game of Thrones second-screen experience closely. “They did an award-winning second-screen app. Super elaborate and super expensive,” Yellin said. But in the end, hardly anyone used it.

Netflix doesn’t want to do the same mistake — but Yellin said that the company may nonetheless experiment with enhanced experiences around its original content some time down the road. “If you are not testing things that fail, you are not testing aggressively enough,” he said.

Check out the rest of our Mobilize 2013 coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:

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A transcription of the video follows on the next page