Netflix Testing Linear Channel Like Regular Old TV

It’s great having a plethora of streaming services. But they still all require you to do something very important that isn’t always easy to do—make a decision. You actually have to select what you want to watch. And like a restaurant with way too many options, the more titles you can choose from the harder it can be to actually pick one. That’s why I so frequently end up channel surfing on cable instead. It’s less stressful. Earlier this year, Netflix launched a “shuffle” feature on its TV apps that plays random movies or episode of TV shows. Now it’s taking a step closer towards regular television.  Netflix is testing out a new feature in France that looks a lot more like traditional TV. The streaming giant has launched a linear channel with specific, scheduled programming.Netflix Testing Linear Channel Like Regular Old TV_1


Netflix has announced it is experimenting with a new type of experience for users in France. It’s Direct channel (which we first heard about at IndieWire) will feature a curated lineup of original Netflix movies and shows. They will be programmed to run at specific times, the same way any normal TV station works. Subscribers in France will be able to tune in to see what’s on Direct, like they do with ABC or The Food Network any given time of day.

The streaming service explained in a press release why it chose France. “Watching traditional TV remains hugely popular with people who just want a ‘lean back’ experience where they don’t have to choose shows,” the press release said. Netflix is also clearly aiming to recreate the experience of just watching what’s put on, rather than serving up a seemingly endless buffet to chose from. They also wrote, “Whether you are lacking inspiration or whether you are discovering Netflix for the first time, you could let yourself be guided for the first time without having to choose a particular title and let yourself be surprised by the diversity of Netflix’s library.”

Hey, Netflix! We’re sure the people of France will love having that option. Know what other countries will too? All of them. Sometimes we don’t want to think.

Netflix Testing a Netflix

Direct in France has already partially launched. It’s expected to be available for all users in the country by December. Meaning it’s coming just in time for Netflix to air all one million of its Christmas movies. I know I’d be far more likely to watch all of them if I didn’t actually have to select any of them.

Featured Image: Netflix

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