Netflix’s latest attempt at live-streamed programming, following one-off experiments like Chris Rock’s Selective Outrage standup special earlier this year, finds the streaming giant trying something completely different. In Baby Animal Cam, there are no actors or writers. It’s not even a “show,” really, in that absolutely nothing happens over the course of two hours — other than, well, you the Netflix viewer getting to look at live footage of cute baby animals, streamed to your Netflix app once a week from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
The streamer seems to have quietly launched Baby Animal Cam about a month ago. “Quietly,” I suspect, so that the company can crack open the door just a little more on live programming, without worrying about a flood of users overwhelming its capacity. Baby Gorilla Cam actually launched first, giving viewers the chance to watch a troop of gorillas at the Cleveland zoo bond with a new baby male and female addition to their troop. Baby Animal Cam, meanwhile, introduces all sorts of other types of adorable critters — like orangutans, the star of a recent episode that saw one of them take forever to nosh on a leaf.
Head to this Netflix link on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 1 pm Central Time to watch the next scheduled Baby Animal Cam live stream, which will run for a couple of hours (and will just kind of abruptly end, ready or not, whenever they decide to cut the stream off). “Keep an eye on the daily routines, quirky habits, and cozy habitats of several baby animals at Cleveland Metroparks,” the Netflix summary reads about this event.
There’s something that feels sort of novel about this whole idea, calling to mind the excitement from back in the early days of the Internet when you’d open live webcam footage of something like a street scene in Tokyo or a beautiful ocean view from somewhere in the world. That is to say, there’s obviously nothing new or particularly groundbreaking about Netflix’s Baby Animal Cam, but it is intriguing to see the streamer continuing to simply try new things — from video games to live streams that tap into our neverending desire to fawn over cute animals.