Streaming platform Netflix has quickly become a main stay within the Indian OTT ecosystem. The company has introduced some features in the OTT space that has been lauded by users. One such feature being the ‘Skip Intro’ button. Netflix has opened up about the feature and the story behind it. Also Read - Stranger Things actually turn things upside down: Gateway of India, Empire State Building and more light up
Netflix claims that in a typical day, the ‘Skip Intro’ button is pressed 136 million times. The feature saves 195 years in cumulative time. Also Read - WhatsApp gets Stranger Things sticker pack on Android, iOS, Desktop: How to download it
The feature was first ideated six years ago. The idea was to add skip forward and skip backward buttons in 10-second increments. The reason to offer a skip back 10 seconds was for viewers who might have missed a particular moment in the series or movie. Also Read - Best comedy shows, films to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus Hotstar
Cameron Johnson, Director Product Innovation at Netflix explained how they came about the idea of ‘Skip Intro’ button. He said, “I was watching Game of Thrones, which has a famously long (and beautiful) opening credits sequence. I found the show so compelling that I wanted to skip the credits and jump right into the story, and I found it frustrating to try to manually jump forward to just the right place. Sometimes I would jump too far, and sometimes I would jump too short. I wondered whether other people felt the same.”
Netflix’s research later showed that about 15% of the time members were manually advancing the series within the first five minutes. This was when they decided to embrace the idea of ‘Skip Intro’ button.
Cameron said, “Rather than build a general purpose solution that might help a little with several different needs, like a skip forward 10 seconds button, we designed a single purpose solution that did only one thing really well.”
The names that were considered for the feature included ‘Jump Past Credits,’ ‘Skip Credits,’ ‘Jump Ahead,’ ‘Skip Intro’ and simply ‘Skip’. Netflix then started to test the feature with a random set of members. Initially, the video streaming platform added the button only to 250 series, excluding films, in the US, UK, and Canada. Initially, it was only launched on the web.
With an extremely good response to the new feature, Netflix added the functionality for more users on TV in August 2017. On mobile, it was introduced in May 2018.