• Netflix tests ‘Watch Now’ feature to enhance UX 
  • Limited to TVs and TV-connected devices, including Roku and Fire TV 
  • Netflix looks to tradition TV to give viewers a “lean back” experience

Netflix homepage

Netflix ‘Watch Now’ experience: Trails for smart TV users 

Netflix has begun a global test of its latest feature for TV apps, offering users the option to skip browsing and start streaming instantly.

The trial, which began yesterday, has been added to the profile selection page when users launch the Netflix interface on a smart TV or streaming device.

A report by Variety claims Netflix is experimenting with the ‘Watch Now’ feature for one to two months across a small percentage of its global audience.

The test is being limited to TVs and TV-connected devices, including Roku and Fire TV streaming devices.

Earlier this year Netflix trialled a customised viewing speed which allowed viewers to vary the speed at which they watch TV and films.

A raft of directors decried the option, which let some viewers slow content down by 0.5x or 0.75x or, increase it by 1.25x and 1.5x.

Netflix executives have previously talked about adopting the traditional TV scheduling experience to offer a different way for viewers to experience its content. 

The theory behind adopting the ’Watch Now’ feature, is set out in Netflix’s Long-Term View manifesto. It says: “Those decision points are, say, at 7:15 pm when a member wants to relax, enjoy a shared experience with friends and family, or is bored.

“The member could choose Netflix, or a multitude of other options.”

With its new trial, Netflix is not experimenting with abolishing the browsing app altogether, however, the company is turning back to tradition TV to offer viewers a “lean back-friendly experience as an alternative.”

With an abundance of streaming services at consumers disposal Netflix and other streaming giants are looking for ways to simplify the content discovery experience on smart TVs, moving away from app-centric interfaces.

A recent survey by PwC found new media company valuations have indicated good user experience (UX) delivers profits and audience retention ahead of its core content offering.