How does Netflix’s Content Management System work? — Product Exploration Case Study
We all know about Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime but I always wondered how would they be handling so much data and how would they be uploading content to their site. How’s that backend system looking like, how is it handled? So I decided to design a web portal that allows content managers to upload streaming media (movies or TV series content) for an online streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
The goal is to come up with a product that allows content managers to upload media on Netflix, manage and monitor the media on Netflix and demonstrate how the workflow would look like for this.
There are obviously a lot of CMS for managing streaming media content for online streaming services but I wanted to understand how it works normally so that I can design a product around it.
The major users of this product are the (for lack of a better word) “Content Uploaders”, basically who upload the content to the platform using this tool. And there are different levels to them as well:
- Content Uploaders — ones who upload the content
- Content Managers — monitors and checks if the content uploaded are done correctly and they assign a task to the uploaders
- Admins — they look after everything
The way the process works for the uploaders is:
- Uploaders get what to upload (we can call them tasks) as in what series or movies to upload.
- The system has Content Repositories that stores all the raw media content which they get from the content creators (directors, filmmakers, producers, etc.)
- Uploaders have to find the media they are looking for from the repository and select it for upload
- After it is uploaded, it goes to the Content Manager for verification whether he has uploaded the correct files and put correct titles or not and then publishes it to the website.
- Content Repository also contains a lot of other information other than having just the video file like:
- Title and description of the media
- Tags and genres
- So when the user picks a particular media from the repo, he also has to take the respective other info to be put with that video.
- Tasklist item also contains the media info like titles, description, etc., which system automatically picks from the content repo
Using the insights I gathered from the research, I drafted the flows and then I started created hi-fi visuals of some of the screens. This demonstrates the task of uploading media. These screens are for Administrators, the controls and options just reduce for different user types.
Content Uploaders access
- Primary button to upload media
- This shows the tasks to be done. Now, this can be customized per day, or week or month according to admin.
- Tasks are like a checklist which on click goes to another instance where it shows all the info of the media
- These bars are like progress bars of ongoing uploads by all the other uploaders.
- On selecting it shows it belongs to which media
- Handy info stats to show progress
- Table of tasks at work by this user. For admins & managers, it directly shows the ones which are to be checked.
Disclaimer: This is an unofficial exploration, I haven’t worked or been involved with Netflix for this. This is just my creative representation of how the system might looked like based on my personal research.