While Netflix continues to be the leader in streaming entertainment around the globe, subscribers still have one serious issue with the service: There's just too much to choose from and no real way to sort it. Netflix has hordes of content at its disposal, which is great, but users have a hard time sifting through the options. All of the lists of things to watch are simply curated by Netflix, which often makes it hard to decide what to stream. Fortunately, there's at least one solution in the works, one that several smaller streaming services have already introduced. Netflix is testing out its own scheduled TV channel.
On Thursday, Netflix began 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.
The Direct testing kicked off on Thursday in France, offering some users access to the program. The service will be expanded to the rest of France over the course of the next month. There's no word now on when Direct might be tested in North America or other markets. Netflix chose to test Direct in France because the country still consumes traditional TV on a regular basis.
According to a statement from Netflix, "Many viewers like the idea of programming that doesn't require them to choose what they are going to watch."
"Whether you are lacking inspiration of whether you are discovering Netflix for the first time, you could let yourself be guided for the first time without having to choose a particular title and let yourself be surprised by the diversity of Netflix's library," the statement continued.
This is the first time Netflix is utilizing scheduling on its service. Services like Peacock and Shudder already have channels available for viewing.