Tech News: Netflix will Rollout ‘Shuffle Play’ feature Globally in coming months.
I’m feeling lucky? Netflix is officially offering “shuffle” to customers around the world this year – subscribers leave the decision on what to watch alongside the streamer’s algorithms.
Netflix announced plans to roll out the feature, which it has extensively tested on connected TV platforms since last summer, to all customers in the first half of 2021. The news was included in the streaming center’s fourth-quarter results, which have surpassed forecast for subscriber growth and gave Netflix a record 36.6 million new paid streaming members in 2020.
Explaining why Netflix is launching “shuffle” as a permanent feature, COO and chief product officer Greg Peters said that sometimes users come to the service “and they’re not really sure what they want to watch.”
Currently, trial versions of shuffle play can be viewed on Netflix’s connected TV apps. On the first login screen of the profile (“Who watches Netflix?”), Under each profile is a button that says “Play something” or “Shuffle”. There is also an option called “Play Something” / “Shuffle” (which asks “Don’t know what to watch?”) In the sidebar menu. When you start shuffle play, another button will also appear on the screen that says “Play something else” if the title isn’t something you care about.
The titles Netflix offers when you press the “Play Something” / “Shuffle” button are shows or movies similar to the ones you watched before; titles in the genres you looked at; or content you’ve saved in the “My List” section. For example, when I recently clicked “Play Something”, Netflix started streaming the first season of “The Crown” (explaining that it was a drama similar to “The Queen’s Gambit”, which I watched without. stop last month).
Netflix first tested a similar feature in 2019 with a random episodes button on its Android app, available for select TV shows. The company then began a second round of tests around the world in July 2020 with “shuffle”.
The “shuffle” feature is one of several ways Netflix has added new entry points to lure viewers to new TV shows and movies, with the goal of making you watch even more content, which increases the likelihood you’ll continue pay it.