Netflix Is Adding a Shuffle Feature To Let You Try Shows at Random
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re finally done with a long day of work, and you plop down on the couch. You fire up Netflix and look for something new to watch. There are so many options to choose from that you actually have a hard time settling on just one. A comedy? A mystery? A TV show? A movie? True crime? Sci-fi? After a while you realize you’ve been browsing for 45 minutes without making a decision, and instead of watching something, you just go to sleep instead.
Although it’s a relatively new condition, doctors have identified this condition as “netflixia” — a near-terminal indecisiveness brought on by an overwhelming number of choices. Perhaps in response to its rise, Netflix is now testing a feature called “Shuffle Play,” which will remove the stress and hassle of browsing through thousands of options and choose a title for you with a click of a button. Per Variety:
The idea, of course, is to provide yet another way to encourage Netflix users to watch more content on the service — even if they don’t know what, exactly, they want to watch — and potentially get hooked on a new TV show or movie. Currently, “Shuffle Play” is being tested only on connected-TV devices.
If you’ve got access to Shuffle Play, you’ll find it underneath the viewer profiles on your Netflix log-in screen. A company spokesperson told Variety the feature was designed “to make it easier for members to find something to watch,” and that following the current test, the feature will likely make its way to all Netflix users. The content Shuffle Play randomly selects is supposedly based on data about your previous viewing choices and films and shows you’ve played in your own Netflix queue.
I don’t have the right kind of device to use Shuffle Play at the moment, but I would be curious to see what it would select for me. (Probably a baking show involving extremely cheerful and/or incompetent contestants, based on the amount of Nailed It! and Great British Baking Show I regularly consume.) I’m more interested to see what it suggests for me compared to what it suggests for others, just to see whether the choices really are specific and specialized, or if everyone pretty much gets Floor Is Lava no matter what they do.
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