Netflix video previews make reading descriptions so last century

We all know what it’s like to spend more time endlessly scrolling through Netflix’s content library than actually picking something and watching it. There are many theories as to why we do this, but perhaps the most pertinent of all, is that it can be difficult to gauge a TV show or film’s quality based on an image and description alone.

But what if instead of an out-of-context screenshot to a piece of content we know almost nothing about, we had a video preview that gave us some idea of what the show we’re looking at is actually like? That’s exactly what Netflix is rolling out to its TV interface over the next few weeks.

Rather than simply presenting a video trailer for each show or movie, Netflix has taken the concept a step further, creating “specially designed video synopses that help members make faster and more confident decisions by quickly highlighting the story, characters and tone of a title,” stated an official Netflix blog post on the new feature.

Why did Netflix decide to introduce this new way of browsing? According to the statement, the streaming company’s internal testing showed that “people watched more of a story, demonstrating these previews helped them browse less and watch more."

Video game consoles and Roku devices will be the first to receive Netflix’s new video previews, with smart TVs and others receiving the update in the coming months. The video below gives an idea of what the new browsing method will look like.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.