Netflix's latest feature is annoying the hell out of Hollywood
Android users will get the option to speed up or slow down their viewing.
Netflix users will soon be able to slow down their Netflix viewing by 0.5x or 0.75x speeds, or speed up what they watch by 1.25x or 1.5x speeds.
This is a feature that has been available through the Android app for a while but is now getting rolled out to iOS devices and the web.
While some will no doubt use this new feature to cram-watch their favourite shows in a shorter amount of time, it is a move that will also help those who are hard of hearing (as they can slow down subtitles if needed) and those who are blind, too.
Everette Bacon, of the National Federation of the Blind said in a statement that the feature will be of benefit as those with impaired sight “can understand and appreciate audio played at a much faster pace than what might be comfortable for most sighted people.”
This is also a point that Netflix makes when it chats about the feature, with Keela Robison, Netflix’s vice president of product innovation saying: “The feature has been much requested by members for years.
"Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties.”
Hollywood isn't happy, though. The likes of Judd Apatow and others took to Twitter back in October last year when the new feature was being tested, saying that distributers shouldn't have the right to adapt speeds as it isn't the way the movie/show was intended to being watched.
No. That’s not how it works. Distributors don’t get to change the way the content is presented. Doing so is a breaking of trust and won’t be tolerated by the people who provide it. Let the people who don’t care put it in their contracts that they don’t care. Most all do. https://t.co/ZPQPpgTXOc
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) October 28, 2019
Aaron Paul was another who wasn't keen. In a now deleted Tweet (all of his Tweets are deleted as he is taking a Twitter break) he reckoned there was no way Netflix would actually implement the feature, despite a trial.
As for those who are still not keen, Bradley Whitford from The West Wing, Get Out and Handmaid's Tale wasn't happy.
This totally disrespectful to the casts, crews, writers and directors who provide your content @netflix. Please don’t do this. https://t.co/w1JaQzejzV
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) July 31, 2020
Whatever your take, the feature is here to stay. Whether or not you want to try it on the best Netflix movies or best Netflix shows is entirely up to you.