Netflix rolls out its “Shuffle Play” feature to everyone

Netflix rolls out its “Shuffle Play” feature to everyone

Update 1 (04/28/2021 @ 1:07 PM ET): Netflix has begun rolling out its long-promised “Shuffle Play” feature to everyone, and it’s now called “Play Something”. Click here for more information. The article, as published on January 20, 2021, is preserved below.

How often do you mindlessly scroll through Netflix, unsure of what to watch? With so many choices, picking something can be overwhelming, so to avoid these situations, Netflix is rolling out a new “Shuffle Play” feature to everyone this year.

The Shuffle Play feature will essentially allow Netflix to pick what to watch for you based on its algorithms. Netflix COO and chief product officer Greg Peters explained the feature is meant to take the anxiety out of choosing from thousands of movies and TV shows.

“It’s really working for us where our members can basically indicate to us that they just want to skip browsing entirely, click one button and we’ll pick a title for them just to instantly play,” Peters said, via Variety. “And that’s a great mechanism that’s worked quite well for members in that situation.”

Shuffle Play is reminiscent of Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” search feature, which brings users right to the top search result. In testing, Netflix users had access to a Shuffle Play button on the profile select screen. There’s also a “Play something” option in the menu once a profile is selected. According to Variety, the tests were conducted on the streaming service’s connected-TV apps. Netflix also recently started testing an audio-only mode on select mobile devices.

If you do decide to let Netflix to pick content for you, it should choose something you’re interested in. That’s because the service will use its algorithms to base its picks on content you’ve previously watched, genres you’ve viewed, and what’s saved in your “My List” section.

Netflix recently announced that it would release one original movie every week in 2021, and that the service topped 200 million subscribers in 2020. So, the new Shuffle Play feature is arriving at an opportune time, because when there’s so much content to watch, making a choice can be overwhelming.

Netflix doesn’t appear to have finalized what the Shuffle Play feature will be called, but it aims to come up with “something better” than “I’m feeling lucky.”

Netflix
Netflix
Developer: Netflix, Inc.
Price: Free+

Update 1: “Play Something” button rolls out

Back in January, Netflix confirmed it would roll out a new “Shuffle Play” feature that essentially picks what to watch for you based on its recommendation algorithms. Today, Netflix has announced that the feature is rolling out to users as the “Play Something” button. When you hit the “Play Something” button, you’ll be met with a TV show or movie the service thinks you’ll like. If you want to pass on this recommendation, simply hit the “Play Something Else” button to get a new TV show or movie, a show or movie you’re already watching, a show or movie on your list, or an unfinished show or movie you may want to revisit.

The “Play Something” button can be found underneath your profile name, on the tenth row of your Netflix homepage, or on the navigation menu on the left of the screen.

About author

Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.