Netflix, the popular video streaming service, is reportedly testing a feature that will allow viewers to watch TV on shuffle, the same way so many of you listen to music. The move is said to help with Nextlfix subscribers who suffer from option paralysis when deciding what to watch. We're not so sure about it.
Shuffle play makes sense listening to a band or artist that you love. Personally, I'm old school and listen to albums from start to finish more often than not, but I totally get the popularity of just shuffling a particular artist or genre and seeing where the algorithm takes you. Now, Netflix seemingly thinks the same approach can be applied to TV and movie viewing.
The news was been confirmed by TechCrunch, which reported that the new button is currently showing up on the Netflix app for TVs, to many users’ surprise. TechCrunch was also told that the streaming giant wants Netflix to feel more like watching regular TV. Given how this mentality resulted in Netflix's autoplay feature, which rather annoying started playing clips of shows before you scroll through the menu, it's worrying where this is going. Netflix eventually allowed users to disable autoplay in an update earlier this year.
The algorithm will use data from your list and watching history to automatically play a sequence of TV shows or movies it thinks you will want to watch. No more scrolling through the menus for an hour before settling down. That's the idea.
This feature will live or die on the strength of its algorithm. Anyone old enough to remember the early days of iTunes and it's wild mood shifts when shuffling will know what I'm talking about. Things have gotten a lot better since the mid-00s, however, so is Netflix onto something here?
Being overwhelmed by the sheer choice on Netflix certainly a common occurrence. I am just not sure shuffle play is the answer. What do you think? Let us know below the line.