Taking a page from the podcast playbook, the company is testing out a feature that will allow viewers to speed up or slow down the content as they view it on their smartphones.
The new feature was reported by Android Police, who pointed out that content could be slowed down to 0.5x speed or sped up to 1.5x speed.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, a Netflix representative confirmed that the feature was being tested and would be available on all Netflix content.
"We're always experimenting with new ways to help members use Netflix," the rep said. "This test makes it possible to vary the speed at which people watch shows on their mobiles. As with any test, it may not become a permanent feature on Netflix."
The news has since sent ripples through Hollywood as directors get pissed that someone viewing their work on a smartphone will not be doing so in the speed with which it was originally intended. Among the most outspoken critics was Judd Apatow:
No @Netflix no. 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 fuck with our timing. We give you nice things. Leave them as they were intended to be seen. https://t.co/xkprLM44oC— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) 28 October 2019
No. That's not how it works. Distributors don't get to change the way the content is presented. Doing so is a breaking of trust and won't be tolerated by the people who provide it. Let the people who don't care put it in their contracts that they don't care. Most all do. https://t.co/ZPQPpgTXOc— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) 28 October 2019
Seems like we need a hashtag like #heynetflixifyouthinkwearegonnaletyouspeedupourworkyouarehigh. Maybe the @Wga and @DGA will make a call too. https://t.co/TYbcwLDPhA— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) 28 October 2019
The Incredibles director Brad Bird echoed those sentiments:
Whelp— another spectacularly bad idea, and another cut to the already bleeding-out cinema experience. Why support & finance filmmakers visions on one hand and then work to destroy the presentation of those films on the other??? https://t.co/T7QdYAQGHU— Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) October 28, 2019