Netflix is introducing a new interface for its TV app today, ushering in video previews that display a specially created snippet of the program or movie to watch before you commit.
Rolling out around the world from today, the refreshed Netflix TV app will be landing on game consoles and Roku devices first, with smart TVs and other platforms added to the mix “in the coming months,” according to a company statement.
“As we launch more than 1,000 hours of original content next year, we know we have less than 90 seconds to capture someone’s attention and get them excited about a title — that’s why we’re introducing video previews into the TV browsing experience,” explained Stephen Garcia, director of product innovation for TV, and Chris Jaffe, VP of product innovation, in a blog post.
As Netflix approaches almost a decade as a video streaming company, it has had to adapt to the changing technological landscape. Just last week, it finally caved in and made downloading some TV shows and movies possible through its mobile apps — this was reflective of the demand the company has seen around the world for offline access, particularly in emerging markets, where Wi-Fi and mobile internet may be patchy.
The new TV interface certainly lends itself better to the big screen, as the menu options and video preview must be visible simultaneously, which is why it’s not being introduced to the smartphone or tablet apps.
The company is quick to point out that previews are not “teasers or trailers” — they have been designed specifically to help viewers decide quickly what they want to watch. “They are specially designed video synopses that help members make faster and more confident decisions by quickly highlighting the story, characters, and tone of a title,” the company says. “In developing this experience, our testing showed that people watched more of a story, demonstrating these previews helped them browse less and watch more.”