A return to appointment TV
Recap: Netflix was able to disrupt an entire industry by, well, being disruptive and going against the grain. At a time when linear television (watching a program on the date and time it is scheduled to air) was the norm, Netflix got behind on-demand programming. Consumers loved the idea of being able to watch whatever they want, whenever they want. Appointment television was out and “my time” TV was in.
It’s a bit puzzling, then, that Netflix would even consider experimenting with a linear offering but that is exactly what the company is doing in one major market.
Traditional TV consumption is apparently still quite popular in France, where “many viewers like the idea of programming that avoids having to choose what to watch.” As such, the streaming giant is testing a new feature in the region called Direct where “you can let yourself be carried away without having to choose a particular title and let yourself be surprised by the diversity of the Netflix catalog.”
Netflix has already started rolling the feature out in France, where it will be available exclusively online via your web browser. The real-time stream will be the same for all users, just like a regular television channel. No word on why it is only available online via web browser, and not through streaming devices like set-top boxes, game consoles, smartphones and smart TVs.
The company said it expects Direct to be available to all French members by the beginning of December.
Masthead credit: sitthiphong