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Netflix today announced the launch of a new "Play Something" option that's designed to play content on the streaming service based on user habits.


The feature gives people who log into Netflix and aren't sure what they want to view an option to get to content quickly without endless scrolling.
There are times when we just don't want to make decisions. A Friday evening after a long work week. A fridge full of food but nothing jumps out. A family movie night where no one can agree. We've all been there.

Sometimes you just want to open Netflix and dive right into a new story. That's why we've created Play Something, an exciting new way to kick back and watch.
Netflix says that Play Something will offer a new series or film that's similar to something you've watched before, an episode or film you've seen but might want to watch again if it's been a long time, a series or film on your watch list, or an episode from a show that you've started but haven't finished.


Play Something can be accessed from the login screen when you're choosing a profile, from the main home screen, or from the navigation menu.

Netflix has been testing this feature with some users for the last several months, but it is now rolling out to everyone.

Article Link: Netflix Launches New 'Play Something' Shuffle Feature
 

rustbat

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2011
8
14
I’ve had this feature for a while now on my Hisense Roku TV. I miss the old one from years ago that asked you questions to determine what to watch. It found some good options! When I tried this, it gave me stuff in my list, but don’t I already know I need to watch those? I want to find new things!
 
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dwaltwhit

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2013
790
1,455
Tennessee
I find it fascinating that netflix has such an overwhelming library and algorithm that it had to come up with a way to solve this issue. With cable it was 150 channels and nothing to watch. With netflix its the opposite: 1 streaming service and too many things to watch.
 
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edk99

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
859
1,406
FL
Is this old news? I've seen this feature for many months now. Tried it once and did not care for what it selected.
 
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wanha

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2020
240
577
I don't think is a very good idea for a video streaming service.

However, something like this for a music subscription service would be great. If I almost always listen to my library on shuffle, then start playing that with one tap.

In general, this is an example of a push toward intelligent UX that I've been clamoring for for a while.

To always make the user start at the beginning of the UI flow only to have him/her navigate to the same place every time is inefficient and frustrating for the user. I don't feel asking apps to become "smarter" in this regard is asking for the moon.

For instance, if I almost always watch the NBA on a streaming service, you would think the app would "learn" that this is what I am most likely interested in watching and open up on the live sports or NBA page of its service.
 
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Gnutek

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2013
34
37
They are trying to solve a real problem here :) My wife read somewhere that if a user does not select a show to watch within the first 19 seconds of launching the app, then there’s a great chance he / she will quit the app without choosing anything.
 
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julesme

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2016
349
1,263
San Jose
Modern equivalent of channel surfing. It can (sometimes) feel less stressful because you don't have to plan ahead and/or "choose" something. You just watch what's already on.
 
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BadMelonFarmer

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2010
496
313
North Somerset
Funnily enough tried this today…. Says it is based on my viewing preference.

it picked some “Formula 1” thing.

I hate formula 1, never watched anything to do with it on Netflix or any other platform. I would rather watch paint dry.

🤣

wife and daughter would not have watched anything to do with F1 or motorsport either.
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 603
Dec 9, 2008
5,323
27,661
I can’t imagine having so much time on your hand to „just watch something“ random. I can barely keep up with what I WANT to watch and we have been on lockdown since October with actually nothing to do 🤣
I think it's more for people who have one or two main series they watch with a significant other and just want to pop something random one for like 10 minutes while they eat instead of spending that time trying to decide what to watch.
 
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sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,413
4,730
Or, stop spending billions and billions creating too much choice and crappy shows.

Curate great original content and license must-watch-tv. Spend less. Better choices for customers. And no need for spin-the-netflix-wheel-of-content.
Perhaps you haven't noticed, but studios/networks are creating their own streaming services so even if Netflix wanted to license content they might not be able to because the studios/networks want to get you to subscribe to their new service, or the licensing cost will be $$$, so Netflix has no choice but to spend billions to create their own content if they want to keep and grow subscribers.
 
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sw1tcher

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,413
4,730
Funnily enough tried this today…. Says it is based on my viewing preference.

it picked some “Formula 1” thing.

I hate formula 1, never watched anything to do with it on Netflix or any other platform. I would rather watch paint dry.

🤣

wife and daughter would not have watched anything to do with F1 or motorsport either.
I'm not a Formula 1 fan either, but I found both "Senna" and "Rush" to be excellent films. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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contacos

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2020
1,137
3,794
Mexico City living in Berlin
Or, stop spending billions and billions creating too much choice and crappy shows.

Curate great original content and license must-watch-tv. Spend less. Better choices for customers. And no need for spin-the-netflix-wheel-of-content.

1. not everyone has the same taste as you
2. they rely on new subscribers to please their shareholders, which also means most shows get cancelled after 3 seasons tops now cuz new shows create more buzz = more new subscribers unless something is a TRUE hit helping to keep the churn rate in check
3. easier to create your own stuff than having to deal with world wide licensing of content that may already be taken by another streamer in country X
 
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MisterK

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2006
467
278
Ottawa, Canada
I'm into this. I've been beating the drum for a while that AppleTV+ should have a live network-cable-like channel where they just livestream stuff – AppleTV One. That lets them highlight new shows, air live events (like award shows and sports), and let's people just get home from work, put up their feet, and just tune in to their favourite channel. They could run ads for their other shows or have an App or Games review show....

I love that we can on-demand any shows we like, and that doesn't need to go away if there's a live option too.

Unless there's a specific show I'm setting time aside for (like WandaVision or Loki on Disney+) choosing something can be daunting.

I can't count the number of times I ended up enjoying some random show while channel surfing (and never would have picked) on old cable TV.
 
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