Netflix’s New Speed-Binge Feature Is Enraging Hollywood

Since it first debuted in the late ’90s and certainly since many of us first began using the streaming service in the mid to late 2000s, Netflix has changed tremendously. There was a time when streaming movies on the platform wasn’t really a thing. Instead, we were content to send in our DVDs two or three at a time and wait patiently until another one magically appeared in our mailboxes.

Now, Netflix has its own original content with a plethora of movies and TV shows. Also, there is a ton of competition out there. With Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Apple + and Disney + coming soon — Netflix is always looking for new ways to get ahead of the times and improve the viewing experiences of its users.

Hollywood has already gotten a little prickly with Netflix since they are now able to enter major awards shows like the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes. However, the streaming platform’s latest feature is truly upsetting studios and Hollywood big-wigs.

Netflix is testing out a speed-binge feature

One of the main reasons why so many people have dumped their cable companies for platforms like Netflix and Hulu is because the companies offer their users the opportunity to watch hours upon hours of their favorite shows and movies. We have legit sat on the couch watching The Office until that rude little sign popped up asking if we were still watching. 

Now –Netflix is offering an even faster way to binge your favorite shows. Some Andriod users discovered on their Netflix Android app that there is now an option to speed up (or slow down) playback without muting the volume. This means playback speeds can move at 0.5x, 0.75x, 1.0x, 1.25x or 1.5x, respectively. Essentially you can speed up a show by 50% which seems insane to us.

Though Netflix was trying to test the feature out by being low-key –now that Hollywood has found out about it, they aren’t pleased.

Hollywood is enraged by Netflix’s speed-binge option

Director Judd Apatow who co-created Netflix’s Love tweeted, “Don’t make me have to call every director and show creator on Earth to fight you on this. Save me the time. I will win but it will take a ton of time. Don’t f— with our timing. We give you nice things. Leave them as they were intended to be seen.”

Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul who just reprised his role on the show for Netflix’s El Camino was also not amused. He tweeted, “Stop … There is NO WAY @netflix will move forward with this. That would mean they are completely taking control of everyone else’s art and destroying it. Netflix is far better than that. Am I right Netflix?”

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Will Netflix move forward with its speed-binging test?

So far, it looks like Netflix is going to do what they want. After hearing the pushback, Netflix’s Vice President Keela Robison wrote a blog post to address the issue. Apparently, the speed-binges a mobile feature ONLY. She wrote,

This is a mobile-only test and gives people the ability to vary the speed at which they watch on phones or tablets. It’s a feature that has long been available on DVD players — and has been frequently requested by our members. For example, people looking to rewatch their favorite scene or wanting to go slower because it’s a foreign language title. We’ve been sensitive to creator concerns and haven’t included bigger screens, in particular TVs, in this test.

Netflix is unbothered.