There's so much Netflix to watch. There's so little time to watch it all. Don't worry, Netflix has you covered.
You can already listen to podcasts and audiobooks at 1.5x their normal speed. YouTube offers this feature, too. So why not speed up Netflix shows?
If you're one of the lucky few Android phone or tablet users who gained access to Netflix's experimental feature, now you can. It's the ultimate binge-watching productivity hack.
Users who got access to the new speed controls can set Netflix titles to playreallyfast or to play muuuch mooore slooowly. The max speed is 1.5x. The slowest is half speed.
Don't mess with Hollywood.
Unsurprisingly, people who make shows and movies are not happy. Directors and actors are urging Netflix to kill the feature. Judd Apatow immediately took to the Twittersphere when he found out about Netflix's experiment.
"We give you nice things," Apatow tweeted. "Leave them as they were intended to be seen." He also threatened "to call every director and show creator on Earth" to fight against Netflix about this. Others joined in to tweet and urge Netflix to reconsider releasing this feature.
Not ready for prime time.
Netflix says they're not enabling the speed controls for larger screens, such as TVs. This is because they say they're sensitive to "creator concerns." On the Android devices that do have it, users can only adjust the speed on a title-by-title basis. You can't turn it on by default to apply to everything you watch.
"Whether we introduce these features for everyone at some point will depend on the feedback we receive," Netflix vice president of product innovation Keela Robison said in a statement. She also made a point to mention that this feature is not at all new and has long been available on DVD players.
Giving the subscribers what they want.
Robison also said it's a frequently requested feature. One use case is people who want to rewatch a scene or watch a foreign language title more slowly.
Speed control is one of many small features Netflix is testing to beef up their service to make it stickier for current subscribers. They have a good reason to do so. New streaming services are swooping in, and Netflix is already feeling the pressure.
Unseating the king of video streaming.
Apple and Disney are entering the market with their own streaming offerings. Apple's introductory price will be $4.99 a month. Disney's will be $6.99. As these new services try to attract new customers, you can get them for free to start.
The most basic Netflix subscription is $8.99 monthly. Its most popular plan is $12.99. Netflix offers a free 30-day trial. But given how long Netflix has been around, you've probably already tried the free trial at some point and are likely ineligible. ?