Netflix Testing "Audio-Only" Option for Mobile Devices

Netflix continues to test new and varied ways of taking in their content and are apparently [...]

Netflix continues to test new and varied ways of taking in their content and are apparently considering a version that's "audio-only" for those eager to experience shows like Stranger Things and Marvel's Daredevil but only in their ears. Android Police and Variety bring word of the tested feature, calling it a "podcast-like experience." The test will come first to Android users apparently and allows for Netflix users to just disable the video they're streaming and listen to its audio in the background. Apparently the streamer "doesn't really know how many users would be interested in the feature," but there must be a market for it, right?

"We're always looking for new ways to improve the Netflix mobile experience for our members," a Netflix rep said in a statement. "We run tests in different countries and for different periods of time — and only make them broadly available if people find them useful."

According to the trade, users must "opt-in" for the feature with every title and session that they stream on Netflix, and interactive content like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend are not supported by audio-only mode.

Over the past few years Netflix has tested out a variety of functions for users, some of which have become standard practice and some of which were quickly abandoned. Back in November reports began to surface that the streamer was beginning a soft rollout of a program called Netflix Direct, a programmed "channel" that just consistently plays according to its schedule. At any point in the day a subscriber can choose the Direct option on Netflix and it will be playing through its lineup like a regular TV channel.

Back in August it was revealed that Netflix was working on a "Shuffle Play" feature that would allow subscribers to stream random titles based on previous viewing history or items saved to playlists. Last week it was confirmed that they had begun to roll out this feature to even more users with "Play Something." Yet another tested feature that Netflix has rolled out to users is allowing them to play videos back at different speeds.

As they've previously outlined these tests likely stem from the company trying to make it easier for people who aren't using their subscriptions. There probably aren't a ton out there, but for those who aren't getting the most use out of their money, it will be a welcome change.

(Cover Photo by Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)