It’s the worst part of Netflix, after the vague sensation that theatrical releasing may be on the way out: you’re scrolling through the content library, and whenever you leave the cursor over one title for more than three seconds, your speakers start blaring an autoplay trailer or the program itself.
It’s noisy, it’s busy, and the efficacy of hooking someone by yelling the first few seconds of a movie at them is, to put it gently, questionable.
Netflix is not deaf to the people’s cries. The streaming giant has announced the addition of a new functionality allowing users to turn off the autoplay feature. Just like that, justice is served.
It came as something of a surprise, however, and not just because the general public has been begging for a respite from the tyranny of autoplay since the feature’s introduction. The recent revelation that Netflix counts anything over two minutes as a “view” suggested that the autoplay feature may contribute some chunk of the company’s metrics, from people fixing a snack or using the lavatory while leaving the app open.
While the inner workings of Netflix remain a jealously guarded secret, this development signifies one of two things. It could be that they’re rejiggering what counts as a “watch,” or that they’re sufficiently secure to take whatever that hit might be. In either case, it’s a show of confidence, and one that makes the user experience that much better.
Most intriguing of all is the idea that Netflix can be responsive to requests aired en masse from their subscriber base. Next up, let us all unite as one voice so that we may put an end to the truncating of end credits by the next episode. Or at least, we can get another season of The OA.
Published 7 Feb 2020
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