Streaming services have made it easy to watch almost any movie or show you can think of with just a click of a button. Unfortunately, channel surfing has been a casualty of the switch from cable TV to Netflix or Hulu. Gone are the halcyon days of watching The Shawshank Redemption on TNT just because it’s on. Stumbling on a cult classic or a forgotten hit on weekend afternoons has been left in the past, but Netflix is making an effort to modernize the experience with its new “Play Something” button.
Netflix originally began testing Play Something several months ago under the working title “Shuffle Play,” and it’s now ready for primetime. The feature is making its global debut for all subscribers today on its TV apps, with plans to release it on Android devices in the future.
Play Something is designed to deliver almost anything on the service, from new releases to unwatched episodes of a series you’re already watching. It pulls from your list and personalized recommendations, delivering a similar selection to what you’ll see on the grid without having to scroll endlessly. Play Something can be found from multiple places on the TV interface: the left-side navigation menu, underneath your profile name, and as the tenth row on Netflix’s homepage. It also fully supports text-to-speech, so subscribers that rely on screen-readers aren’t left out.
Though this could just become another way to blindly shuffle through Netflix’s offerings, it’s a good step towards an easier way to decide to watch on any given night.