Netflix announced its new “play something” feature Wednesday, which allows users to shuffle through suggested movies and TV shows.
Subscribers who click the button are shown a film or show that was picked based on the Netflix algorithm. If it doesn’t look interesting, users can click “play something else” and get a new recommended show, film, unfinished show or movie on their watch list.
It will help Netflix mimic a more traditional cable experience where users turn on the TV and something is already playing. The feature could also help get viewers hooked on the company’s exclusive content, which would help it retain subscribers.
The button will appear under the users’ profile name on the log-in screen, in the navigation menu to the left, and on the Netflix homepage. Netflix is rolling out the feature for TVs first and will start testing for mobile devices soon.
Netflix has been testing the shuffle feature for several months on TVs, so some users have already become familiar with the button. The company said in its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings release that customer response to “play something” has been positive.
The company had 208 million paid subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2021.