Netflix Allows Disabling of Autoplay Features

Netflix

No longer will you have to deal with loud clips auto-playing each time you want to find something new to binge.

Ever since the first time Netflix introduced auto-play on its home screen, users have been asking – no, demanding – that the feature be taken down, or at least made optional. If you’ve never used Netflix, here’s the short story. 

When you log in, you’re taken to a home screen based on what you usually watch. At the top, an auto-playing ad for something new that’s been added or something currently popular on Netflix. As you scroll over each option, a new auto-plat shows you clips of the show. 

While it might sound useful, it can quickly become a tiresome melody of noise when you have to use a remote or console controller to get to the bottom right of the options. Hence, the desire to have the feature removed. 

Not Just “Normal People” Demanding Change

It wasn’t just the average person fed up with Netflix’s auto-play home screen. Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Knives Out director Rian Johnson has been just as annoyed as the rest of us. He’s quoted as twitting, “current favorite console game: navigating Netflix without triggering autoplay promos.”

Numerous Reddit threads, YouTUbe Videos, Facebook and Twitter posts, blog posts, and of course, emails have been sent and targeted to Netflix for this seemingly subscription-ending feature. 

In fact, there is a whole twitter account dedicated to asking Netflix to stop using auto-play to sell it’s newest show or to preview others. The good news? All the prayers, chants, emails, forums, and social media posts have paid off. 

Answered Demands

After years of demanding, Netflix users have been rewarded. Today, Netflix announced via Twitter that the annoying autoplay feature would be disabled should a subscriber wish it so. They’ve started pointing to an updated help page. 

This new page shows subscribers how to turn off both an auto-playing home screen as well as an auto-playing episode. As it turns out, it’s not just home screens that auto-play is optional on – something that’s old news to some, but not too many or all. 

Issues With Screen Time

Ongoing rises in awareness for how much time people spend binge-watching TV has made some people wish that the auto-play between Netflix episodes be disabled as well. In fact, many are upset that the auto-play timer has been tested to ensure maximum binge-watching – good for Netflix, but bad for society. 

While the ability to do this has actually been around since 2014, the new ability to disable the home screen has found some just finding out about the other feature for the first time – still to many people’s pleasure. 

A Brief Netflix History

Netflix has been known to stay ahead of the game. While people may have been asking for this feature for years, for the most part, the business is known for being the first – or even only at times. 

1997 – Reed Hastings & Marc Randolph co-founded Netflix as a place where you could rent movies (physical copies) online and have them delivered. 

1998 – Netflix.com was officially launched with a pay-per-rental model. 

1999 – Monthly subscription options are introduced for unlimited monthly rentals. 

2000 – Netflix.com added personal movie recommendations. 

2002 – Netflix went public under NFLX on the Nasdaq. 

2003 – Netflix reached 1 million monthly subscribers in the US. 

2005 – Subscriber count reached 4.2 million. 

2007 – Online streaming services introduced for computers.

2008 – Netflix collaborates to enable streaming on other devices for the first time.

2010 – Continuing collaboration over the years results in streaming on almost all internet-connected devices. 

2010 – Streaming services launched in Canada.

2013 – Netflix starts creating its own set of shows with the House of Cards and others.

2016 – After years of expansion, Netflix became available worldwide. 

2017 – Netflix earns a place in 73% of all US households.

2020 – Auto-play previews made optional.

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