Netflix rolls out video previews worldwide, but only on its TV app

Netflix is rolling out a new user interface for its app for televisions and streaming media players which will now include video previews, instead of still images. The previews will appear when you’re browsing through the library looking for something to watch, and pause on a specific title. Video previews are something Netflix began testing more broadly earlier this year, so it’s not necessarily a new experience for all users.

Instead, today’s news is that this is no longer just a test, and video previews will be available globally to all users who watch Netflix on their television.

The company describes the video previews as being different from traditional trailers, as they’re shorter in length and also more focused on offering a synopsis of the content by highlighting the story, characters or tone.

The videos only begin playing when a user stops browsing for a moment to read more about a title.

Netflix said that it found people watched more of story when it tested video previews, and they browsed less, which is why it made the decision to roll out the feature to its worldwide audience.

However, not everyone was delighted by video previews when they first launched, given that they are a more interruptive experience compared with using still images. When the company first tested video previews that began playing as soon as the Netflix app was launched on a TV, some users not only complained, they also asked for a setting to disable this option. That didn’t come to pass.

That being said, video previews are only live on the Netflix TV experience – not on smartphones or tablets where it could be more cumbersome.

The video previews are launching worldwide on Netflix beginning today, and will reach eligible devices over the next few weeks. This includes most game consoles, Roku devices, and other smart TVs, the company said.