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Mar 13, 2024

Where did the Netflix ‘Tudum’ sound come from?

In the bustling landscape of streaming entertainment, Netflix stands as a pioneering force, reshaping how we engage with movies and TV shows since its inception in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California.

Over the years, Netflix has evolved into a leading platform, offering an extensive library of content competing with industry giants like Prime Video, Disney+, and Crunchyroll. Central to its identity is the iconic ‘Tudum’ (or ‘Ta-dum’) sound logo, a three-second auditory cue that has become synonymous with the excitement of streaming entertainment. But how did this distinctive, cinematic sound come into existence, and why has it become such a cornerstone of the Netflix experience?

What Is the Origin of the Netflix ‘Tudum’ Sound?

The intriguing genesis of Netflix’s ‘Tudum’ sound was recently unveiled by Todd Yellin, who served as Netflix’s Head of Product until December 2022, during a revealing podcast interview.

Yellin humorously recounted considering alternatives to the now-familiar ‘Tudum,’ including even the comical notion of using a goat’s bleat as Netflix’s auditory signature.

This revelation sheds light on the creative process behind the selection of Netflix’s ‘Tudum’, offering insight into the unconventional thinking that underlies the streaming platform’s approach to branding and user experience.


From Sound Effects for Braveheart to ‘Tudum’: The Man Behind the Iconic Audio Logo

Crafted by Lon Bender, an esteemed sound designer renowned for his work on films like Braveheart, the Netflix ‘Tudum’ underwent meticulous refinement to ensure it encapsulated the brand’s essence.

With elements like a wedding ring tapping on wood and a slowed anvil, the Netflix sound was designed to evoke feelings of excitement and anticipation, effectively signalling the start of a thrilling adventure.


How Did Netflix Find Their Intro Sound?

Through Todd Yellin’s dedication to finding the perfect intro sound, Netflix evaluated numerous alternatives before ultimately settling on the resonant ‘Tudum.’

Focus group testing confirmed its effectiveness, with participants associating the sound with keywords like “dramatic,” “intriguing,” and “beginning.”

This validation process cemented the ‘Tudum’ as the preferred sound logo for Netflix, emphasising its ability to capture the essence of the streaming experience.

Despite the challenges and iterative nature of its development, the ‘Tudum’ has emerged as a symbol of Netflix’s success, transcending cultural and linguistic boundaries to become a universally recognisable sound that announces the start of captivating storytelling.



Samanta Zingariello
Visual Design student, 1st year, Milan