Netflix has begun rolling out a new option that allows users to customise subtitles on the TV version of the streaming platform.
The new feature was announced by Netflix on March 8th with subscribers now able to change the size and style of subtitles and closed captions. The three sizes that are available include small, medium and large. Meanwhile, four different color types are present: white, drop shadow (white text on black background), light (black text on white background and contrast (yellow text on black background).
These settings were previously only available on Netflix's web platform, so this change will naturally help with accessibility for those that prefer to watch via TV. Statistics show that (according to a study by Preply (opens in new tab) in 2022) that 50% of people in the US watch movies and shows with subtitles. That figure increases to 62% for streaming services when compared to cable or satellite, with Gen Z much more likely to be frequent users at 70%. So you can see why this addition is could be quite a big deal for some.
Check out an example of the new subtitle feature below:
The improvement to subtitles will help viewer experience for those that are struggling to understand the language used, while closed captions are used for those are struggle to hear audio. Netflix has several subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH), and announced that it would be expanding its audio descriptions and subtitling in more than 10 additional languages (opens in new tab) back in May 2022.
The introduction of subtitle customisation is a welcome one, if not long overdue. Netflix's competitors – such as Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu and Paramount Plus – all allow their subscribers to change the text size and style.
While it's always great to see new features being added, last month Netflix quietly removed its 'Surprise Me' feature less than two years after launching the entertainment selector. Let's hope that's the last removal.
Speaking of removals, Netflix has continued to cancel many of its shows with over a dozen already scrapped in 2023 alone. More recently, Mindhunter season 3 received a new update after years, while the long-awaited Gorillaz movie was cancelled according to the virtual band's frontman.