Netflix tests a random episode mode to help you decide what to watch

Image credit: Netflix

The amount of choice on Netflix can feel overwhelming at times, and if you're looking for recommendations about what to watch, there might soon be a new way of finding it: a random episode mode.

Spotted by Android Police, the experimental feature might better be described as a popular episode mode, serving up an episode that a lot of other users have watched.

According to a sample screenshot, the mode could pick out an episode of Our Planet or The Office for you. A random episode button appears on the playback screen too.

For the time being this seems to be just another test for Netflix, which hasn't announced anything officially. It may never roll out to everyone, but it's interesting to see the sort of tweaks Netflix is trying.

More competition

Diving deep into the middle of a series might not be the best way to start watching something but Netflix would appear to think it has potential.

Of course the streaming service already offers plenty of ways to get you started on something new, including trailers that auto-play on the home screen and an advanced recommendation engine.

If the random or popular episode option does indeed get added as a feature for everyone, it's something else to make use of when you don't know what to watch.

With Apple and Disney launching their own on-demand TV and movie services this year, Netflix knows it has to keep innovating to survive – and this might end up being one small way of doing that.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.