Always struggling to choose something to watch on Netflix? Well, the big N may have an antidote to your indecision. It’s recently been reported by Variety that the streaming service is releasing a traditional TV channel devoted to scheduled programming. Instead of choosing shows via the Netflix menus, viewers can watch the content in a televised schedule format.
However, the channel – titled Netflix Direct – is currently in the ‘testing period’. Also, it’s currently only available in one country – France. But why is that? The company explains that “in France, watching traditional TV remains hugely popular with people who just want a ‘lean back’ experience where they don’t have to choose shows”.
In the same statement, the company emphasized the reasoning behind their new channel: “Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide, or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different”.
Netflix Direct opened with a ‘soft launch’ in France on November 5. The country is home to 9 million subscribers. The channel is exclusive to the streaming service’s subscribers, as to be expected.
COVID-19 has been bad for people and economies, but good for Netflix. The streaming giant received 26 million subscribers during the first two quarters of 2020. This is almost as much as the number of subscribers it obtained during 2019 as a whole. This surge in popularity seemingly stems from the worldwide lockdowns. People needed some entertainment to get them through it, which Netflix fulfilled. Since then, growth has naturally slowed down.
The big N seeks to increase their France-based original content. The company established an office in the country in January of this year. The Jean-Pierre Jeunet-directed BigBug started shooting last month and is the latest film due to hit their French film roster. Would you watch Netflix Direct? Or do you think a Netflix-owned channel for scheduled programming is redundant? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments below!