Netflix is introducing new playback controls to let users choose what speeds they want to watch something with on phone or tablet. Users on Android mobile devices will stream at either 0.5x or 0.75x speeds for slowed-down viewing and 1.25x or 1.5x speeds for faster watching.
Those are slightly fewer options than YouTube, which allows people to slow all the way down to 0.25x speeds, and speed up by twice the normal playback speed. Playback speed options are also available on downloaded titles that people have saved for offline viewing.
However, for users to get the playback option, subscribers must opt-in to use the playback speeds with every single title they want to watch. This prevents people from accidentally watching everything at 1.5x speed if they don’t want to. The feature is rolling out tomorrow and will be available to everyone globally in the coming weeks.
The company is also set to begin testing on iOS devices and the web version of the app.
Keela Robison, Netflix’s vice president of product innovation, addressed the changes in technology that have allowed for different types of viewing over the years, and why Netflix decided to move forward after a brief testing phase.
“The feature has been much requested by members for years. Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favourite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties.” Said Robinson
Last year, Netflix announced it was testing the feature and was met with backlash from Hollywood’s creative community including Actor Aaron Paul.
Netflix is also planning to keep an eye on the response to the playback speeds from both the creative community and subscribers.