The introduction of streaming services into our lives has no doubt been a game-changer. But is that really what we all want? Netflix is popular for its binge-able nature but now it’s trialling a new linear feature that may help end the debate of what to watch.
What is Netflix’s new linear channel?
Netflix is testing a new linear web channel option in France, titled ‘Direct’, Variety reports. This is the company’s first venture into real-time, scheduled programming. The Direct channel offers a selection of local and international film and TV series that are currently available on Netflix. The new feature provides a more traditional television experience. Users can simply switch to the channel and be greeted with whatever regularly scheduled Netflix programming is on offer.
While it is still very much in trial stages, there’s huge potential for this feature to be implemented across the Netflix interface worldwide. Netflix said on its website that it chose France as a test market due to the high amount of traditional TV consumption that viewers partake in.
“Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide, or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different,” Netflix said about its Direct feature. The feature is currently only available on the web browser version of the site.
Why this could be a good idea for Netflix
The ability to run your own TV schedule and turn on your show of choice at any hour of day or night has been revolutionary. No more adhering to the local TV network’s schedules or setting your DVR for late-night re-runs. Streaming lets you watch what you want, whenever you want. But sometimes, that can be a little daunting.
Decision anxiety and fatigue is definitely an issue for a lot of viewers worldwide. There's an overwhelming amount of content to choose from. Not to mention limits on time and attention in our lives means that sometimes all you want to do is turn on the TV and watch whatever is on. Or perhaps you have too many things you want to watch on Netflix and would rather the website just pick it for you. There's a number of reasons this would be a cool feature to add.
It should also be particularly useful as more people turn to streaming services over typical broadcast channels. I know, personally, my TV isn’t even connected to an antenna anymore. So, this is a great way for Netflix to combine the best of both worlds and create a traditional channel dedicated to all of its great shows. And even better? No annoying third-party ads.