How would you improve Video Streaming Service

Product Manager

Video Streaming Service is the type of Netflix problem solving interview question for Product Manager Role.

You are the PM for a streaming video service. You come into the office and see that one key metric has dropped by 80%. What will you do?

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These type of questions can be answered many different ways. This makes it critical to establish the right framework from the start.

First you should recognize in your answer that 80% is a huge drop in any key metric.

Counter Questions:

Next, you should counter question to clarify exactly what metric this is for. We need to understand these numbers to understand if these are new user retention, monetization etc and also if its sudden or gradual drop.

Now, let’s say it’s a sudden drop. So, you could pinpoint that around what time this drop occurred and figure out if there were any internal/external factors that could have caused it.

Internal Factors

Internal factors include: new feature was released, server went down, a new bug became prevalent. For the last two, you can segment it by region, browser/device type, and OS type. The issue could also be that the metrics we are grabbing is incorrect.

External Factors

External factors include: a new competitor has joined into the market, bad PR, maybe a firmware was pushed outside of your control. It could also be due to seasonality or a major temporary event. If it’s a major temporary event, you should see KPIs begin to return to their normal state shortly.

KPI Review For Video Streaming Service

Third, you should try to see if any other relational KPI drops. It’s easier to know what KPI it is before, but we can go along the user journey and see if any KPI before it dropped.

For Example, A user signs up for the service -> enters in a credit card for payment (optional) -> clicks on a video to watch -> Watches the video -> chooses another video to watch

This is important in narrowing down exactly when the problem first starts. For example, if a key KPI is number of videos watched, perhaps the sign in is where most people are failing.

Identify Infrastructure or Production Release Issue

And the issue is a released feature, you should try to clarify what the goal of the feature is. It could be possible that we started doing targeted ads and conversion dropped but the first time purchase after clickthrough increased. It would be important to understand if the goal of the feature change was met even with this big of a KPI drop.

Once we figure out the exact issue, It is easy to work with Engineering team and guide them to address it. If there is a bug, we can file priority bug ticket. There could be possibilities to having server issues and can be fixed with in-house teams. Also, sometimes reverting last Production release can solve the problem.

Identify External Outages

If the issue is external, this would be harder to solve immediately and would often require going through the normal cycle of product development to address them.


You can open Hotline call for the communication and let everyone know about the situation. So cross function teams can join and give their input. It will help to identify next-steps and how to resolve the issue. It is also good idea to open 24/7 chat room to keep updated everyone about the issue status and steps to resolve the issue.


  • Step 1: You would first make sure we can ascertain if the drop was temporary or permanent, gradual or sudden
  • Step 2: If the KPI drop may have occurred across the market.
  • Step 3: You will identify at internal and external factors to try to see if it can pinpoint the issue.
  • Step 4: Third, if the issue can be fixed immediately, I would contact my team to put out a hotfix or roll back a change that we may have made.
  • Step 5: If not, we should understand the issue thoroughly before acting and have hotline call communication to let everyone know of findings and communicate to identify next steps.

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