“So, what do you want to watch tonight?” it can be an exciting or scary phrase, depending on who you ask. Netflix’s huge and diverse content library allows us to essentially satisfy all the tastes and whims that arise the moment we sit down to watch a movie or program. But having what appears to be an unlimited amount of choices can often present its own challenge: decision fatigue.
Netflix just announced a new feature to help combat the common frustration of rolling for hours without actually choosing what to watch. It’s called “Play Something” and chooses a TV show or movie that you’ll love based on the service’s algorithms.
The feature, which the streaming service has been testing in different iterations for two years, is a kind of normal television: when you click on the “Play something” button – which, if you decide to activate it, will appear under the name of your startup profile, as well as the 10th line of the Netflix homepage and the navigation bar on the left of the screen – it will automatically start playing a series or movie based on its viewing history. Users won’t see something completely random – the title will be something you’ve never seen before, something you’ve already been watching, or a movie or program on your watch list. In addition, a small graph will appear explaining why the algorithm chose that specific title. And if you don’t like what Netflix has chosen for you, you can choose to “Play something else” or come back if you change your mind.
For some people, the problem is that we have a lot of content to choose from. Have we faced so many decisions in our daily lives – Toothpaste with extra whitening? Or organic? Enamel defense? Colgate? Aquafresh? – and at the end of the day, having everything on demand puts even more pressure and stress on people.
On Netflix, however, they don’t really believe in the choice paradox when it comes to streaming, but rather that we don’t have the right tools to figure out what we want to watch.
“More and more content – it is difficult to describe it as anything but a good thing. I’m shocked when people don’t think this is a good thing, ”Todd Yellin, Netflix’s vice president of product, told Vulture. “Because what you’re essentially doing is giving the most talented storytellers from the most diverse backgrounds the chance to tell their stories. It’s giving viewers more interesting things to choose from. “
Perhaps for those who fear that dreaded “what to watch” question, the answer may be simple: let Netflix decide.