Netflix is testing a feature that allows a small group of Android phone users to change the playback speed of what they are watching, but some of Hollywood's greatest actors and filmmakers are pushing back.
Drivers Judd Apatow (Knocked), Brad Bird (The unbelievable) and Peyton Reed (Antman) asked Netflix on Twitter not to continue with the tool. Actor Aaron Paul (El Camino, BoJack Horseman) called it a bad decision.
"Why support and finance visions of filmmakers on the one hand and destroy the presentation of those films on the other?" Bird tweeted.
A Netflix spokesperson said The edge that the company is always experimenting with ways to improve the viewing experience of subscribers. Netflix currently has no plans to roll it out to larger screens in the future. The spokesperson added that although Netflix understands the concerns of creators when it comes to playback controls, this is no different than what DVD players can do for years. It is a much sought after feature of subscribers, the spokesman said. Netflix users must choose to play shows and films at different speeds every time, which means that this is not an automatic program.
This is just one of the few features that Netflix is currently testing for some Android mobile users. The company is also testing the ability for some Android mobile users to change the brightness levels of an episode directly in the episode window and offers customers the ability to more directly control audio in different languages.
The original announcement about testing the playback speed received a divided response. While some people agreed with the views of the aforementioned filmmakers, others claimed it was a common feature for listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos that would be very welcome on Netflix. This is especially true, the last group argued, when binge-watching a show they've already seen. According to the Netflix spokesperson, the ability to delay a function or program is often a request from people looking at titles in a different language.
The debate comes down to the impact of streaming technology on artistic control. Netflix tries to serve the subscriber – the person who spends $ 13 every month to see what they want, when they want, however they want. Giving them more control over their viewing experience is crucial to Netflix's core philosophy; it serves its subscribers first and foremost.
The Hollywood guard sees this as an insult to artistic vision. While most films go to theaters before being made available on DVD, giving film makers some control over how their films were viewed by the public before they saw a home release, many titles on Netflix are not. Netflix has gone from a platform that simply plays things on command to a bona fide distributor. There are more Netflix originals than ever before and many of those films do not receive the same theatrical release treatment as a Marvel film.
The playback function seems to be particularly loaded with filmmakers, and that is understandable. TV show runners have since learned to cope with the use of personal technology by people. Television subscribers have played with the way they have watched TV since recording shows in the & # 39; 90, fast forwarding and rewinding episodes for a better viewing experience for themselves – even if that's not the way the showrunners and writers intended to be monitored. Personal technology disturbed watching TV so long ago that it now feels normal.
That is not the case for films. But the more streaming services step into the roles of studio and distributor, the more change there is. Director Martin Scorsese called this new streaming-first era & # 39; an even bigger revolution than the sound being brought to the cinema & # 39 ;, adding that & & # 39; opening the original concept of what a movie is & & # 39; according to The Associated press. Part of that revolution is the understanding that although filmmakers still have control over the technology they use to make their films, viewers more often control the technology they use to watch these films. Adjustable playback speeds may be difficult to process, but it also seems an inevitable function.