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Netflix launches Play Something, a new shuffle-play feature to end decision fatigue

  • The new viewing mode, launching worldwide today, will make it easier for indecisive viewers to find something instantly to watch. Early in the streaming era, Netflix tested a similar feature among a small selection of viewers that would mimic people turning on the TV. But the idea didn't work. "Netflix believes audiences are ready now," says Josef Adalian. "Today, the company is launching Play Something, a new viewing mode designed to make it easier for the indecisive among us to quickly find something to watch. As with those early forays into instant-playing content, the goal of this new shuffle feature is to eliminate, or at least ease, the Peak TV-era anxiety so many of us feel while trying to find something to watch. But unlike its past attempt, it won’t be automatic: You’ll have to opt in — either at start-up or when you’re browsing your home page. If you do, the usual page upon page of box art and show descriptions disappears. Instead, the Netflix matrix chooses something it thinks you’ll be into and just starts streaming it, along with an onscreen graphic briefly explaining why it chose that title. Don’t like what you see? A quick button press skips ahead to another selection. If you suddenly decide an earlier selection is actually a better pick, you can also go backward. (The feature will initially be available on all Netflix TV apps and on mobile for Android devices.)"

    TOPICS: Netflix