Netflix confirms new Shuffle Play feature is rolling out worldwide this year

21 Janvier, 2021, 11:54 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
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The development was confirmed by the streaming giant to TechCrunch.

"It's really working for us where our members can basically indicate to us that they just want to skip browsing entirely, click one button and we'll pick a title for them just to instantly play".

Shuffle Play is still only being tested on TVs right now, but the company said the feature, which may yet take another name, will reach all users worldwide sometime in the first half of 2021. It is a big button on Netflix's home screen below the profile icon. Since August past year, Netflix has been testing this feature through a button that plays a random movie or TV series for the viewer, based on the titles they watch. There's also an option labeled "Play Something"/"Shuffle Play" (which asks, "Not sure what to watch?") in the sidebar menu. Netflix is officially bringing "shuffle play" to customers worldwide this year - letting subscribers turn over the decision of what to watch next to the streamer's algorithms.

The button has already appeared on some users' Netflix app for TV devices, due to the ongoing tests. So, the new Shuffle Play feature is arriving at an opportune time, because when there's so much content to watch, making a choice can be overwhelming.

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Netflix Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said during the earnings meeting that viewers come to the platform to be entertained but are sometimes not sure what they want to watch. Netflix has tested various iterations of this feature in the past, including one specifically tailored towards surfacing random episodes of TV shows. It declined to say how many users or what percentage had been opted into the test to date. The company then began a second round of testing in July 2020 globally with "shuffle play". On selecting "Try it now", Netflix will automatically play something for the user.

It has also promoted its shows on the login screen and as screensavers, and notoriously autoplayed previews until past year, when it finally caved in to user demand for a way to turn this off.

However, Netflix isn't going to choose just anything for you to stick to.

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