Netflix has a new feature for all of us, making it enter the podcast arena in a way. The popular video-streaming service has started testing a new audio-only playback mode, which will allow users to listen to only the audio. Also Read - Netflix 'Shuffle Play' feature to roll out for users globally this year
Netflix audio-only mode available for some users
The new Netflix audio-only mode is currently available for a few Android users as part of the server-side rollout (version 7.84.1), as per a report by Android Police. As per the report, the full-screen video player now has a new ‘Video-Off’ button at the top. Once the option is enabled, the video will disappear enabling the audio-only mode. Also Read - JioFiber streams Netflix the best, beating Airtel and other broadband operators
This will result in a black screen with all the playback controls that are generally available. The controls also include the brightness slider, which is weird as it won’t be needed now.
The new audio-only playback mode also comes with settings of its own. The Settings menu will display a new ‘Audio-Only’ option, which will allow users to choose from options like ‘Always On,’ ‘Headphones or External Speakers,’ and ‘Off.’ This way, users will be able to decide as to how they want to go about the ‘audio-only’ Netflix stream-fest. It is suggested that users will be required to enable the mode for different titles, excluding interactive content.
This feature appears similar to the one YouTube Premium already has that allows users to listen to just the audio part and not the see the video.
A Netflix spokesperson, in a statement, said, “We’re always looking for new ways to improve the Netflix mobile experience for our members. We run tests in different countries and for different periods of time – and only make them broadly available if people find them useful.”
For those who don’t know, the feature was previously spotted in a teardown by folks at XDA Developers back in October. However, it wasn’t operational at that moment.
The new audio-only mode might possibly lead to Netflix’s entry into the Podcast segment. This might bring about a new Podcast category on the OTT platform. While the mode might not feel apt for all content currently available on the platform, it might suit some when you don’t want to see but listen.
There is no word on when the feature will roll out to other users, including iOS or even the web. However, it is expected to be available publically if the test becomes a success.