Netflix has quietly removed its 'Surprise Me' feature less than two years after launching the entertainment selector.
As first reported by WSJ (opens in new tab), the streaming service has decided to call it quits on the feature with the reasoning being put down to a "relatively low use" from subscribers. The 'Suprise Me' button (originally known as 'Play Something') was located on the drop-down bar of the main menu where Netflix would choose a random TV series or movie based on your watch history.
Originally made available in April 2021, the add-on was designed to take advantage of the high engagement happening during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Netflix executives, at the time, spoke of how they hoped people would use it to play something in the background while having friends over or eating dinner, however, it seems that having no say in what was being played did not resonate enough with viewers.
You can check out the original introductory trailer to 'Play Something' starring Arrested Development actor Will Arnett as a talking remote control below:
“We will continue to explore other ways to give members more options and ways to explore and discover content they want to watch,” Netflix said in a statement provided to WSJ (opens in new tab).
T3 has reached out to Netflix for further comment.
The decision to remove the 'Suprise Me' button follows on from Netflix's roll out of a cheaper-ad-based tier, as it looks to generate more cash in the face of subscribers leaving. A Netflix standard subscription (opens in new tab) currently costs $15.49 / £10.99 / AU$16.99 per month with its ad-based tier starting from $6.99 / £4.99 / AU$6.99.
A few months back, Netflix announced that it would be implementing a new feature that would allow users to transfer profiles between different accounts. The new add-on can be found in the dropdown menu on the homepage. More recently, a report regarding the streaming service revealed just how Netflix intends to catch and implement a block on those that share their passwords outside of their household.