Netflix is planning to enhance binge-watching sessions by improving the way people replay content on the site, according to rumored tests the company is apparently doing at the moment.
Instead of skipping back multiple times just to land on a particular scene, the video streaming service wants viewers to replay their most favorite moments on a film or TV show more easily.
Netflix Testing Instant Replay Feature
Netflix confirmed the test to Los Angeles Times, adding that the new instant replay feature in question allows viewers to restart a scene from the beginning. Suppose a person is watching an episode of their favorite TV show, and in that episode, something eye-catching or particularly notable occurs. Once that scene ends, a "watch that scene again" would pop up on screen. Clicking it will take the viewer back to the start of the said sequence.
With instant replay, viewers can revisit their favorite scenes without having to comb through large sections of the video just to pinpoint the exact moment when it starts. YouTube is a goldmine for some of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema, and Netflix's new feature could very well negate the need to visit YouTube just to watch such moments.
The feature only applies to a number of films or shows at the moment such as Dumplin' and Mowgli. It's not clear if Netflix plans to broaden compatibility during testing. What is even more unclear is if and when the feature will roll out to the rest of its subscribers.
The Problem With Instant Replay
Netflix might want to reconsider, though. There have been complaints from test participants that the pop-ups disturb the overall viewing experience. To be fair, that's a legitimate concern. Imagine sitting through an epic, dramatic, pivotal, plot-heavy sequence only for the poignant experience to be ruined by a pop-up asking the viewer if they want to rewatch the scene again. It's easy to see how instant replay could ruin immersion when watching, especially if the content is compelling.
Perhaps Netflix could retool the feature so it doesn't force on-screen popups. One way this could work is by adding a new column in the selection screen that lists the film or TV show's most iconic scenes, which the viewer can then play individually. In any case, the feature is in testing, so lots can change still.
The company failed to say how much longer the tests will go on, or the results. It did say, however, that it was "just looking to learn" and "may or may not roll it out more broadly."