Netflix will roll out its “Shuffle Play” feature to everyone this year
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.”