Netflix is now allowing viewers to watch their favorite content faster or slower depending on their preferences. Recent years have given rise to people listening to podcasts at various speeds to accommodate modern life and the hectic nature that springs from every day. A report from The Verge indicates that the streaming platform is poised to give it a run for visual content as well. YouTube has long had features like this, but Netflix is hoping that it can catch on with some of the lengthier offerings in its roster. The choice presents some unique challenges as a lot of users probably wouldn’t be too keen on watching their favorite shows as voiced by Alvin and the Chipmunks. (Which begs the question of what that property would sound like sped up even further?)
“We’ve also been mindful of the concerns of some creators,” Netflix’s spokesperson told The Verge. “It’s why we have capped the range of playback speeds and require members to vary the speed each time they watch something new — versus fixing their settings based on the last speed they used.”
The streaming giant is allowing for .5, .75, 1.25, 1.5 speeds on Android mobile devices. Back in 2019, Netflix announced testing of the feature and some of the creative community immediately lamented how it would fundamentally alter their work. Netflix’s vice president of product innovation addressed these concerns outright by saying that this was a user request. That is the true driving factor behind this decision.
“The feature has been much requested by members for years,” Robison explained. “Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties.”
In other news about the streaming scene and Netflix trying to maintain its status in the new influx of players. Netflix Party became an overnight sensation among quarantiners early in the pandemic. So much so, that Hulu decided to bake an alternative into their service for a limited number of users in a set party. No word on if Netflix will make a big push to include this functionality in their own product yet. As the United States faces a bit more time inside, the usage of Neflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others will only increase.
Would you like to try different playback speeds on Netflix? Let us know down in the comments!
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