One of the worst things about Netflix is going away… or at least you’ll now have the ability to turn it off. As reported by The Verge, the streaming service just announced today that it’s going to introduce the ability to allow users to turn off this annoying autoplaying previews that constantly roll on every movie or TV show if you hover over it for too long with your TV remote, video game controller, mouse, or whatever you call the terrible stick that comes with an Apple TV. These previews have always been fairly short and relatively inoffensive, but they also tend to feature unexpected bursts of audio when you’re not necessarily paying attention to the TV and once you’ve seen maybe two of them pop up for something you had absolutely no intention of watching just because you were trying to navigate Netflix’s constantly shifting array of menus, they can be pretty goddamn annoying.
But no more! Or at least no more once you turn off the “feature.” Ever since 2014, Netflix users could turn off the feature that lets multiple episodes in a TV show play in a row, but now they’ll also be able to turn off the autoplaying previews as well. You can find more information about how to do this (please, everyone do it as soon as possible!) at this link.
Now, this is interesting for a couple reasons, one of which being that it took Netflix forever to finally do the one thing that everyone has been yelling at it to do for the past few years (well, this and “bring back The OA” are the two things everyone has been yelling about). The other interesting thing is that Netflix’s position on the autoplaying trailers up until now was to plug its ears and pretend that people actually like them. Back in 2018, when Netflix started putting ad-like “recommendations” in between TV show episodes (remember how annoying that was?), the streaming service explained that the autoplaying previews are actually good because people spent less time browsing once they were instituted. Netflix apparently took that to mean that the trailers made it easier to find things to watch, when in fact they actually just incentivized users to put on anything out of desperation to stop the annoying previews.
There are certainly bigger problems in the world right now (the doctor who was vilified by the Chinese government for warning about a potential coronavirus pandemic just died of the coronavirus!), but let’s take this one as a win.