Last year, Netflix was spotted testing a feature that allowed users to play shows or movies by clicking on a "shuffle play" button sitting right below the row of user profiles. Now, the streaming service has confirmed the arrival of the new capability.
Netflix made the confirmation as part of its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020. The shuffle button is set for rollout to all subscribers in the first half of this year as a permanent feature.
The upcoming capability will allow users to skip browsing and just let the streaming platform pick a movie or show to play for them based on their viewing history. During Netflix's Q4 investor interview, its COO and chief product officer Greg Peters explained:
“It’s really working for us where our members can basically indicate to us that they just want to skip browsing entirely, click one button and we’ll pick a title for them just to instantly play. And that’s a great mechanism that’s worked quite well for members in that situation.”
That said, there's really no official name for the feature just yet. For now, the service is testing shuffle play on its smart TV apps in the form of either a "Play Something" button below each profile in the initial profile login screen or a similar option in the sidebar menu.
It remains to be seen if features like these will actually add a projected six million new subscribers in Q1 2021, in addition to the current 200 million users that the service was able to disclose in a recent letter to investors.