Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Netflix should add TV playlists for better binging.
  • You could create themed playlists—like Christmas episodes—for an uninterrupted viewing experience.
  • Other Spotify-inspired features like a shuffle button and data-rich profiles for actors would enrich the Netflix experience.

The best TV binges are the ones with all hits and no skips. Netflix, you’re the king of queues, so let me create my own playlists with individual episodes from shows on your service. While we’re on the topic of new features, I’ve got some other ideas too.

Video Playlists Would Be Great for Better Binging

It’s a simple request, but I want to add any TV show episode to a playlist I create. Sometimes I just want to re-live the best moments and there’s no easy way to do that without mentally cataloging certain episodes or writing them down somewhere.

It’s not uncommon in music to create a playlist of your favorite songs. The same is true for TV. Sometimes you’re in the mood for specific thematic episodes of certain shows. One example would be wanting to create a Christmas playlist with all those types of episodes so they play back-to-back without interruption.

Let’s go further though. I want to create playlists with any content on the service. What about a movie, an episode of a show, and a comedy special all with the same actor? Yes, that’s a solid afternoon playlist.

Not only are playlists good for personal consumption, but they’re great for sharing. I would love to share a playlist of my five favorite TV episodes, my 10 favorite movies of all time, or the six pieces of content that explain a lot about me.

Dear reader, I can see the skeptical wheels turning in your brain, thinking, “But content gets removed and added to Netflix all the time, what happens then?” That’s easy. If shows or movies become unavailable, then they’re just grayed out from playlists. The same thing happens with songs on Spotify. Artists remove songs and albums all the time for various reasons. The playlist skips unavailable tracks and moves on. To spin this into a positive thing, Netflix could always use this info to ping you when a show or movie returns.

Add Back That Shuffle Button!

Being able to make playlists is the feature I really want to see all video services add, but it’s not the only one Netflix could take a cue from Spotify on. Another obvious one that goes hand in hand with a playlist is a shuffle button.

Netflix did experiment with serving people random videos and called the feature “Shuffle.” It has since removed the feature. Playing random videos based on people’s previously watched items is one way to help undiscovered shows, but that kind of shuffle is implemented more like Google’s “Feeling Lucky” button than Spotify’s album shuffle.

Netflix, add a shuffle button where it makes sense. Put a shuffle button on the pages for TV series. Serve me up a random episode of a specific show, not just any random show. I mean, Spotify doesn’t put a shuffle button on its entire library. The shuffle button is used for albums and playlists—its use is narrower.

Access to More Data For a Richer Experience

Spotify, along with Apple Music, has been doing a good job of exposing more data to listeners who want to know it. Lyrics are the obvious data point, but did you know you can see songwriters, producers, and musicians who worked on songs?

I would love to see Netflix build out a better IMDB that cross-links all creators associated with a project and has its own in-depth repositories. There’s limited exposure to actors and directors right now, but I think there’s a bigger opportunity to expose a wider breadth of information to power users who want to dig deeper.

Based on Google searches and anecdotal evidence from talking with other people, it’s clear everyone is looking for more information about shows and movies. Netflix, don’t make people leave the site or app to get that info. Let us tap into that curiosity on your turf.

We Need More Features (If You’re Going to Keep Raising Prices)

Whether Netflix or other streaming video services add my playlist feature, they need to start adding more features in general. I can name the last time each service raised its prices, but I can’t tell you the last features they showed some innovation with—and I follow this stuff! (Playing videos at a faster speed ain’t it either.)

If Netflix wants to be seen like a big tech company then it should also take a cue from Apple and Google. Both of those companies give customers yearly updates to iPhone and Android operating systems and regularly add new features. Netflix’s feature update doesn’t have to be massive, but it should keep the company moving forward in a visible, meaningful way.

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By John P.

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