Does your Netflix home screen – you know the one with your user profiles – now have a "Shuffle" button?
This is because Netflix is actually planning to add a shuffle feature to its collection of streaming movies and TV shows so you can avoid another argument with your spouse / roommate / partner / etc about what you are watching tonight become. The company informs us that this test has been running since July.
The company is already testing a few possible ways the feature might look, including the “Play Something” variant, which my colleague Julia Alexander took a brief picture of below. But it doesn't just sound like an experiment: "The hope is to produce absolutely something," a spokesman told Variety. The company informs us that so far it is only available on "TVs". I didn't see it on my Roku.
When Julia turned the "Play Something" button, an episode of Netflix's Umbrella Academy was triggered with the statement "Because you saw Spider-Man". (Both are about comic book superheroes and, depending on which Spider-Man we're talking about, Julia? – pretty well received, so I guess that makes sense.)
theinformationsuperhighway appears to have discovered the test first; As mentioned earlier, Netflix previously tested a feature that would allow you to watch a random episode of a specific TV series. That sounds far more useful.
"We run these tests in different countries and for different time periods – and only make them generally available when people think they're useful," said a Netflix representative.
Update, 8:02 p.m. ET: Added comment from Netflix.