Netflix is introducing a new feature that lets users control the playback speed of TV shows and movies on their phone or tablet.
The feature is initially available for Android devices. Now, users can choose to watch something slower at 0.5x or 0.75x speeds or faster at 1.25x or 1.5x speeds. The settings won’t be on by default for every title you watch. For instance, if you watch one movie at 1.25x, the faster viewing option won’t remain active when you choose something else to watch.
Netflix first tested the feature in 2019, receiving backlash from Hollywood creatives. Director Judd Apatow gave his two cents about the feature, tweeting, “Distributors don’t get to change the way content is presented.”
In response to this, Netflix tells The Verge, “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.”
The National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind commended this feature, saying slowed down content (with time-matching subtitles) can be easier for those with hearing difficulties, while blind people may be able to understand the dialogue at a pace faster than those with sight may be comfortable with.