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Behold, Netflix’s new ‘Shuffle’ button

The ‘Shuffle Play’ feature is still in the testing phase, but a permanent version seems likely

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FILE - This June 24, 2015, file photo, shows the Netflix Apple TV app icon, in South Orange, N.J. Netflix reports financial results on Monday, July 18, 2016.

Netflix is currently testing a new “Shuffle Play” feature on connected-TV devices, which plays somewhat randomized titles based on a user’s viewing history and previously saved titles.

Dan Goodman, Associated Press

Google, Wikipedia, Spotify — they’ve all got some kind of randomized “shuffle” feature. Now you can add Netflix to the list.

The popular streaming video service is testing out a “Shuffle Play” feature on certain devices, TechCrunch first reported. For Netflix users who are included in the test, “Shuffle Play” typically shows up on the Neflix home screen, beneath the user profile icon.

As reported by Variety, the new feature is currently being tested exclusively on connected-TV devices, and may also show up on the home screen’s “billboard” area or the TV menu sidebar.

The feature isn’t completely random: Shuffled titles will be related to each user’s previously watched titles, titles from the user’s frequently viewed genres and titles saved in the “My List” section. 

“Ultimately, the company wants the experience of using Netflix to feel more like watching traditional TV — meaning you can just turn it on and something starts playing,” TechCrunch reported. 

The “Shuffle Play” feature builds on previous Netflix testing. In 2019 the company tried a “random episode” feature for certain TV shows. 

Is the feature here to stay? According to TechCrunch, Netflix is still collecting feedback from each different test and hasn’t decided what will become of it. But a Netflix spokesperson told Variety, “The hope is to absolutely productize something.”