Netflix adds new “shuffle play” button that chooses a show for you

If you’ve ever stared at your television as you scroll through title after title on Netflix or played the “no, you choose something” game with someone else in the house, Netflix is testing a new feature you may be interested in.

Some users with the Netflix apps on their television are now seeing a “shuffle play” button available. Click it, and Netflix automatically fires up something it thinks you’ll like. It may be the next episode of a show you’re watching, it may be a sequel to a movie you saw last week, it may be that 80s movie that’s been sitting in your queue for months, or it may just be similar to something else you’ve watched. But either way, the choice is made for you.

The option is actually available from the profile select screen, meaning you choose it before you even see any available content. Ironically, it’s an experience that’s pretty similar to the old cable experience of turning on the television and seeing a show.

Netflix has ventured close to this path before, offering up recommended content as a screensaver or as a pre-roll ad, and offering a “random episode” button for a specific show, but there’s never been a “just click this button and watch a random title” until now.

There’s no immediate plan to roll this feature out more widely, but if it receives positive feedback, you can bet it’ll be a part of the service’s future.

Artie Beaty