Ever found yourself opening the Netflix app and unable to decide what to watch? I’ve often found myself in this dilemma, left wishing for a button that could just randomly play something which suits my content taste. Well, Netflix has been testing a feature that does exactly that for a while, and now, the company plans to release it for all users later this year. The feature has often been spotted being tested under names such as ‘Shuffle Play” and “Play Something” in the past few months for a small bunch of users in the test group.
During the company’s Q4 2020 earnings call, Greg Peters – Chief Operating Officer and Chief Product Officer at Netflix – revealed that the aforementioned feature will be released worldwide later in 2021. “A new feature that we’ve been testing and we’re going to now roll out globally because it’s really working for us, where our members can basically indicate to us that they just want to skip the browsing entirely, click one button and we’ll pick a title for them just to instantly play. And that’s a great mechanism that’s worked quite well for members in that situation,” Peters said during the earning calls.
No more spending precious time deciding what to watch on Netflix
Netflix founder Reed Hastings joked that the company should call it “I’m feeling lucky”, taking inspiration from Google’s own dedicated button on the search homepage that directly takes users to the first result, bypassing the process of first opening the search results list. However, Peters shot down that idea and mentioned that the company will come up with something better than that for its upcoming feature. But so far, the streaming giant is yet to arrive at a final name for the feature.
Lately, some users have been seeing a “Shuffle Play” button right on the profile selection page after opening the Netflix app or its TV/web client. A few others have reported coming across a “Play Something” button in the sidebar. Whatever the feature ends up being called, it will actually pick a random content from Netflix’s library based on users’ viewing history and preference.