Twitter spoke, and Netflix listened.
On Thursday, the streaming behemoth announced that it would give viewers a choice: autoplay or no autoplay. Viewers can now not only skip automatic previews but also prevent the next episode in a series from playing immediately after the previous one. It’s a seemingly minor change, but some subscribers celebrated the announcement as if it was a great populist victory.
It’s a common annoyance for some Netflix users. While you’re scrolling through the vast library of movies and television shows, if the cursor hovers for a nanosecond too long, the beast that is Netflix autoplay is unleashed.
“Morning, bakers! Welcome to your very first day in the tent,” says a lively British voice coaxing you to click on “The Great British Baking Show.”
“What I love about Charlie...,” Scarlett Johansson begins, luring you to spend an evening with “Marriage Story.”
“When I started Goop in 2008...,” Gwyneth Paltrow starts her story, hoping that this preview will convince you that “The Goop Lab” is for you.
Netflix bypassed a news release or a statement this time and tweeted the announcement in response to a Netflix subscriber who had shared a personal gripe about autoplay on Twitter. (She said she had resorted to simply muting the television while she searched for something to watch.)
Autoplay, which has existed as a built-in feature since 2016, seemed designed to keep subscribers’ eyes on Netflix and off their streaming competitors (and real life, for that matter). When one episode of “Arrested Development” ended, another would begin in seconds — no need to wear yourself out by clicking a button. And if no title was revealing itself as the pick of the night, an automatic preview might whet your binge-watching appetite.
A spokeswoman for Netflix said that autoplay was intended to help make it “faster and easier for our members to find titles tailored to their tastes.” Some viewers clearly didn’t feel helped.
Netflix’s announcement was met with triumph by many subscribers, but for others, the mission wasn’t complete. They simply took to Twitter to asked for more changes to their streaming pet peeves.
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