For those who spend too much time trying to figure out what to watch when sitting down on the couch with your plethora of streaming services, Netflix is finally making that decision a little bit easier. The streaming giant has been testing a "shuffle play" option for the last few months, which uses an algorithm to simply choose a title for you, based on things that you have watched in the past. This feature has been available on certain TV platforms, but Netflix is planning to launch it on even more devices in the near future.
During Tuesday's Q4 earnings presentation, Netflix announced that it had surpassed 200 million subscribers across the globe. The streamer also took the opportunity to confirm that the shuffle feature was going to be rolled out for all customers at some point in the first half of 2021. As of now, there is no official date for the feature to be widely accessible.
“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,” Netflix COO and chief product officer Great Peters said on Tuesday. “And that’s a great mechanism that’s worked quite well for members in that situation.”
The current option during the testing phase has been titled "Play Something," and it appears when you first open Netflix and choose which user will be watching. Peters and co-CEO Reed Hastings hinted on Tuesday that there will be a new name for the feature once it is widely available.
Users have been asking for a shuffle option on Netflix for years now, and this option is a big move in that direction. However, there have been calls for more specific shuffle options when it comes to specific shows or playlists. Take popular sitcoms, for example. When you've already binged through every episode of a show and just want to put something on, it would be convenient to simply hit shuffle on that specific title and watch episodes at random.
Are you looking forward to trying out Netflix's shuffle feature? Have you already tried it out during the testing phase? Let us know in the comments!