Ever feel like you have too much on your watch list and not enough time to binge it all? Netflix clearly thinks so, and the company has come up with an answer to the problem that no one seems to have really been too concerned about in the first place. The streaming platform is currently testing a feature that will let users speed watch certain shows and movies. It’s sort of like Audible’s reading speed feature that lets you speed up or slow down the book you’re listening to, but for streaming movies and shows.
The new Netflix feature is being tested on the mobile version of the Netflix app and lets users change the speed at which they watch something on the platform. A feature like this could make it easy to watch an episode of your favorite show during your morning commute via public transportation, or simply slow things down to accommodate your reading speed when watching a foreign show or movie. For anyone that has ever had to re-watch a scene because the subtitles moved too quickly, this feature could end up saving you a lot of time and frustration.
Hollywood Lashes Out At Netflix Over The New Feature
Some of the biggest names in Hollywood, however, have spoken against the new feature being tested on Netflix. Filmmakers have criticized the move, citing that it changes the way film is meant to be absorbed and can end up changing the entire look and feel of a scene that a filmmaker worked so hard on. Imagine watching Midsommar in slow motion—we can imagine that sex scene would get a little weirder than it already is. Regardless, Netflix stands by its decision to offer the test on many versions of the mobile app.
The company released a statement in response to the negative criticism it was getting from Hollywood names like Judd Apatow. “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,” said the filmmaker in a Tweet series. Other filmmakers like Brad Bird, of Pixar, have also weighed in on the subject and spoken against the decision.
Netflix’s response to the controversy has only seen the company double down on its decision, citing that users have allegedly been asking for this feature for quite some time. “It’s a feature that has long been available on DVD players – and has been frequently requested by our members. For example, people looking to rewatch their favorite scene or wanting to go slower because it’s a foreign language title,” said Keela Robinson, the Vice President of Netflix in a statement on behalf of the company.