In the fabled time before Netflix and streaming and after video, there was a time when movies came with something known as commentary. Gather round, children, and we will tell you of a time when one could glean precious trivia from them.
The best commentaries often involved directors who actually cared about the film they made, and were willing to lock themselves into a darkened recording booth for two hours and describe in detail how they made the thing. It wasn't just worthy directors like Francis Ford Coppola or Michael Mann who did them, though both of these gave excellent, detailed commentaries on Heat and The Godfather Trilogy respectively.
No, for the likes of Anchorman, you had Will Ferrell do it entirely in character as Aaron Zimmerman, a take-off of producing impresario Robert Evans. This Is Spinal Tap's commentary had Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest do the whole thing in their characters, giving out about the director Rob Reiner / Marty DiBergi. Tropic Thunder was one of the funniest commentaries in recent memory, primarily because Robert Downey Jr. was still in character - as Kirk Lazarus - whilst Ben Stiller was trying to do a straight commentary.
It wasn't even just people who were involved in the actual production of a film, either.
With The 36th Chamber Of The Shaolin, the famed Hong Kong kung fu classic, The RZA was brought in for the commentary track and spent most of the film regaling listeners with his knowledge of the Shaw Brothers, the film's production and deeply insightful observations along the way. It was brilliant stuff, and that kind of passion and interest is impossible to fake. It just comes through and adds a completely new experience to watching a film.
It wasn't just movies, either. TV boxsets had selected episodes that featured commentaries, sometimes with key technical staff involved here and there to give insight on a scene or the like that featured. The Sopranos, The West Wing and about a dozen other "peak" television series filled their DVD offerings with commentaries from the cast and directors of episodes.
Granted, there has to be some reason for people to continue to buy DVDs and Blu-Rays nowadays, but the fact that most everyone's migrated to streaming, commentaries have become less and less commonplace. Even in Netflix's own offerings such as 1922 or Gerald's Game, there isn't any kind of commentary - never mind the library of films and TV shows from other studios and production houses.
Given that podcasts have gained a resurgence in popularity and people are always looking for ways to maximise their experience of a film - whether it's wrap-up shows or recap articles - it seems like a fit to offer commentaries on Netflix.