Netflix ‘Shuffle Play’ feature to roll out for users globally this year

Netflix will roll out the Shuffle Play feature globally in the first half of 2021. Netflix, without naming the feature, revealed in its Q4 2020 earnings report that a new feature that the company has been testing that “gives members the ability to choose to instantly watch a title chosen just for them versus browse” has received a positive response. Netflix confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature is indeed Shuffle Play, which it started testing in July 2020.

The Shuffle Play feature will essentially choose for users the content it thinks they would like to watch based on the kind of shows, or movies that they have previously watched, or saved to their list. “As we bring our members more great programming, we’re always listening and working to make it easier for them to find the right show and film to watch,” Netflix said in its earnings report.

“As another exciting step in this effort, we’ve been testing a new feature that gives members the ability to choose to instantly watch a title chosen just for them versus browse. The response has been positive and we plan to roll it out globally in the first half of 2021,” it added.

TechCrunch first reported in August last year that Netflix is testing the Shuffle feature for the Netflix app for TV devices wherein a new button labeled “Shuffle Play” shows up beneath a user’s profile icon on the Netflix home screen. “Not sure what to watch? Try Shuffle Play. We’ll shuffle everything on Netflix and find things for you to watch based on your tastes,” the description read.

“When pressed, Netflix will randomly play content it thinks you’ll like. This could be a movie or show you’re currently watching, something you’ve saved to your list or a title that’s similar to something you’ve already watched, the company says,” according to the report.

Prior to this, in July last year, the feature was being tested as, “Play Something” with the label appearing next to the shuffle icon. Clicking on the button would randomly play a film or TV show. Another version of shuffle play, which let people play random episodes when they clicked on a popular show, was tested as well, even before “Play Something”.

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