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Netflix is testing a ‘Shuffle’ button, because you’re tired of picking what to watch

Netflix is testing a ‘Shuffle’ button, because you’re tired of picking what to watch


One variant is called Shuffle Play, and you might already see it

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Netflix logo against a black backdrop
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Does your Netflix home screen — you know, the one with your user profiles — now have a “Shuffle Play” button?

That’s because Netflix is actually planning to bring a shuffle feature to its collection of streaming movies and TV shows, letting you avoid yet another argument with your spouse/housemate/partner/etc about what you’ll be watching this evening. The company tells us it’s actually been running this test since July.

The company is already testing a few potential ways the feature might look, including the “Play Something” variant that my colleague Julia Alexander snapped a quick picture of below. But it sounds like it’s not just an experiment: “The hope is to absolutely productize something,” a spokesperson told Variety. The company tells us it’s only available so far on “TV devices.” I didn’t see it on my Roku.

When Julia gave the “Play Something” button a spin, it fired up an episode of Netflix’s Umbrella Academy with the explanation “because you watched Spider-Man.” (Both are about comic book superheroes and — depending on which Spider-Man we’re talking about, Julia? — fairly well received, so I guess that makes perfect sense.)

TechCrunch seems to have spotted the test first; as it points out, Netflix previously tested a feature that’d show you a random episode of a specific TV series. This sounds far more useful.

“We run these tests in different countries and for different periods of time - and only make them broadly available if people find them useful,” a Netflix rep tells us.

Update, 8:02PM ET: Added comment from Netflix.