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Netflix launches ‘Direct’, a traditional TV channel that only shows one thing

Andrew Griffin
Monday 09 November 2020 11:40 GMT
(AFP via Getty Images)

Netflix has launched "Direct", a TV channel that is only ever showing one thing.

Initially being rolled out in France, Direct will show only one thing at a time. It has been launched to avoid users having to agonise about their choices, said Netflix, and instead let the company choose for them.

It follows a number of other Netflix updates intended to fix the same problem, such as a "shuffle" button that allows people to start watching a random film or TV show.

Though the Direct channel is only hosted on the web, it functions the same as any traditional TV service: anyone who tunes in at a given time will find the same content, which could be anything from Netflix’s library.

It will only be available on the web, and to Netflix subscribers, who can find it by heading to the site, logging in and clicking the “Direct” button at the top of the page. It is rolling out to a small number of members already and will be with everyone in France by the beginning of December, Netflix said.

“Maybe you’re not in the mood to decide, or you’re new and finding your way around, or you just want to be surprised by something new and different,” Netflix said in a statement.

“Direct” is a web-based experience that’s the same for everyone who watches it: a real-time service that gives our members in France some of the best French and European content on the service - from Family Business to La Casa de Papel, The Crown to Unorthodox. Instead of choosing what to watch, you just want to start watching. 

Netflix chose France as the location for the initial launch because “watching traditional TV remains hugely popular with people who just want a 'lean back’ experience where they don’t have to choose shows”, it said.

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