Netflix has announced that it is testing a new feature that allows a select group of Android users to change the playback speed of the movies or TV shows that they are watching. The move, however, is not going down well in Hollywood.
Some of the big names in Hollywood who have expressed their concern over the new feature include directors Judd Apatow, Peyton Reed, Brad Bird, and actor Aaron Paul. The directors believe that this feature will ruin the presentation of content.
However, Netflix notes that it is always looking for new ways to improve the experience of its subscribers. Although the company said that it has no immediate plans to roll out the feature to larger screens, the company says that playback control is one of the most requested features by its subscribers.
This is also not an automatic feature. Users who want to enjoy it will have to opt-in first. The new feature is not the only thing the streaming service is working on.
Netflix is also working on new tools that allow Android streamers to change the brightness of an episode through the episode window without going through too many settings. There are also new tools in the works that will give users more control over different audio options. However, it is the announcement over playback speed that has drawn the sharpest criticism.
But some people have rightly argued that controlling playback speed is not something new. These features are very common in podcasts and YouTube. There is no reason why Netflix shouldn’t use them, especially when you consider they have been heavily requested by subscribers on the platform.
Besides, the primary goal for Netflix is to serve its subscribers. The company is already investing a lot of money in developing its original programming. It should be able to allow subscribers to watch whatever they want, however they want it. After all, Netflix’s core philosophy is to give users more control over how they watch content online. Its obligation is to its subscribers first and not necessarily content creators.
However, there’s still some logic in what creators are saying. They argue that giving users control over playback speed affects the artistic vision of content creators. Many feel that, if they are going to spend so much money and time creating films and shows, it’s only fair for that content to be watched as they intended. Nonetheless, the consumer, just like in any industry, has to come first.
The entertainment industry has evolved massively over the years. Filmmakers have at their disposal some of the best technologies to create high-quality state-of-the-art content. But on the other hand, viewing options for consumers have become more diversified.
Unlike in the past where you had to go to a theater to watch a movie or tune in to your TV to catch up on an episode, Netflix is making it easier to watch the same content wherever and whenever you want. That kind of viewing freedom should not be curtailed.