Netflix said it’s testing a new feature called “Shuffle Play” that automatically chooses the user’s programming selection, lining up one show to binge after the other.
The company said the feature is currently deployed for a portion of its global subscriber base that uses connected TV platforms to view its service. Programming selections it says are algorithmically chosen based on the user’s established taste.
Netflix is trying out different schemes to deploy the feature. For some users, a "Shuffle Play" button will show up on the main screen that lists their user profiles. For others, it shows up as one of the selections in the vertically oriented menu area on the left side of the screen.
Next TV spotted the latter menu choice this morning using a 65-inch Roku-powered TCL smart TV. Clicking on the "Shuffle Play" button automatically fired up the Netflix original series Cursed. (We didn't stick around to watch--the wife has an annoying habit of viewing her Netflix programming using our user profile.)
Notably, a writer for TechCrunch, which first reported on the Shuffle Play feature, found the button in their Netflix menu bar on Roku, but it was differently labeled as “Play Something.”
Netflix told TechCrunch that it hasn’t decided if, when and how it will deploy the feature to its full subscriber base. The purpose of testing it, the company added, was to solve a somewhat universal problem for high-churn streaming platforms, which perpetually hear from bolting customers that they simply couldn’t find anything to watch.
TiVo recently said that OTT users are now spending an average of 11 minutes trying to find something to watch everything they fire up their streaming devices.
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