On video platforms like YouTube or media apps like VLC, users are able to control the playback speed of their videos. They can slow things down or they can speed it up. The good news for Netflix users is that if you were hoping to get these kind of controls, you’ll be pleased to learn that it is now happening.
If you watch Netflix on Android, the company has recently confirmed that they are rolling out support for playback speed controls. This will let users speed up videos by 1.25x or 1.5x, or slow down videos by 0.5x or 0.75x. However, it seems that these settings will not be saved and users will need to manually speed up or slow down their videos with every video watched.
Netflix actually started testing out this feature back in 2019 and despite it seeming like a somewhat banal feature to have, some creators have actually spoken up against it. For example actor Aaron Paul and director Braid Bird and Judd Apatow were some of those who were against it. According to Apatow’s tweet, he felt that content distributors should not get the ability to change the way content is being presented.
In a statement Netflix released to The Verge, a company spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We’ve also been mindful of the concerns of some creators. It’s why we have capped the range of playback speeds and require members to vary the speed each time they watch something new — versus fixing their settings based on the last speed they used.” For non-Android users, Netflix says they will start testing out the feature on its iOS app and also the web version, so expect support for those platforms later.