The Netflix theme got an upgrade from composer Hans Zimmer – listen to it here

(Image credit: Netflix)

Any Netflix user will be familiar with the short and sweet 'ta-dum' sound that kicks off your arrival on the Netflix platform. As a startup sound, it's not bad, offering a building familiarity over time, without enough of a drawn-out composition as to grate on the ears the more you hear it.

If you're watching a Netflix movie in the cinema or at a festival screening, though, you may have heard something quite different. It turns out Netflix commissioned famed composer Hans Zimmer (Inception, Gladiator, No Time To Die) to create a fully cinematic alternative to this humble sound, for viewers to enjoy on a larger scale. 

You can listen to the full audio clip – 16 seconds in total – below.

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Gotta Hans it to you

Netflix's very brief startup / login sound is great when you're simply trying to dive into The Witcher as quickly as possible, but the start of any film in the cinema is ripe for building anticipation – part of the reason why pre-film trailers are beloved by so many.

The expanded version is clearly aimed at bigging up Netflix's cinematic credentials on the film festival circuit, too – a place where it hasn't always been welcomed with open arms. Amid cinema closures across the world, though, relaxations over awards criteria has meant Netflix is more able to submit its own titles for consideration at the Oscars.

Hans Zimmer is a household name – no mean feat as a composer – and the result is certainly more cinematic. Unless Netflix keeps putting out awards-bait like The Irishman and Roma, though – alongside popcorn flicks like Extraction – all the startup remixes in the world won't keep it in cinephiles' hearts.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist. Before going freelance, he spent more than three years at TechRadar reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines also include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.