Netflix is letting people choose the speed at which they want to watch something on their phone or tablet with new playback controls.
Netflix will allow anyone on an Android mobile device to stream at either 0.5x or 0.75x speeds for slowed-down viewing and 1.25x or 1.5x speeds for faster watching. Those are slightly fewer options than YouTube, which allows people to slow all the way down to 0.25x speeds, and speed up by twice the normal playback speed. Playback speed options are also available on downloaded titles that people have saved for offline viewing.
“We’ve decided to press ahead for several reasons,” Robison wrote in a blog post. “Similar functionality has been available on DVD players and DVRs for years and the feature has been much requested by members. Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties.”
She also noted that surveys of users testing the feature didn’t perceive the content any differently.
Netflix is planning to keep an eye on the response to the playback speeds from both the creative community and subscribers. The company is also set to begin testing on iOS devices and the web version of the app, but there’s no testing phase set for Netflix’s TV app.