Netflix: Now With Autoplay

My life just got about 65% better.

As someone who watches a lot of television shows more so than movies, I have been waiting for Netflix to add an autoplay feature for months, maybe longer. I knew we were getting close when they added the Hulu-esque “Play Next Episode” screen when the current episode ended. But today…finally today…my wish has been fulfilling. Netflix has added autoplay, on a 20-second delay to give you a chance to switch episodes. I may never leave my living room again.

The little things mean a lot 🙂

Also, if you are like me and let autoplay run continuously in the background while you are off doing something else, Netflix has installed a little check-in feature to regulate your viewing experience. After X number of autoplayed episodes (I think it’s somewhere around 3 or 4), it will display a little question asking you if you’re still watching the show (in my case, it was Bob’s Burgers, as you can see above–I’m sort of obsessed with it). From there you can either say yes or return to the main menu. I assume this is a safety function for Netflix, based on the assumption that they pays royalties per view to the copyright holder, and they don’t want people autoplaying their content if they’re not watching it. Smart move, Netflix.

I guess one could argue that I’m costing Netflix a lot of unnecessary money by letting these shows drone on in autoplay for hours while I’m actually doing something else. But I don’t think so. I work from home, and I am alone from basically 8am-5pm, sometimes later. Having the TV on is a cheap and easy way to feel less lonely. Maybe that’s a little…pathetic, but it works for me.

Ah, I’m so excited! I was getting tired of clicking Play Next Episode every 21-42 minutes, because I have to stop what I’m doing and change my focus, which messed up my my whole workflow. So thanks, Netflix, for helping me become more productive. I’m sure that’s exactly why you did it.


About spark

In August 2011, after an entire lifetime of indiscriminate viewing, I had to cancel my DVR cable with the HD channels due to financial difficulties. Let's see what happens now.

Posted on June 20, 2012, in Netflix and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I have Netflix on Roku and I have been wishing for an “autoplay” feature like Hulu Plus has. I still don’t see an autoplay option for Netflix. I’m wondering which player you are using to watch Netflix or are you watching on your computer?

    • We are using a PS3 actually. If it’s any consolation, I have noticed the autoplay isn’t available on the IPad3 yet either, so it may just be taking them a while to roll it out to all Netflix-compatible platforms.

      I believe autoplay came in the latest Netflix patch that was automatically installed on our PS3. Is your Netflix software fully updated? If you have any updates that you haven’t installed yet, the autoplay feature might be waiting for you.

  2. Brandon Garletts

    You can add autoplay to Netflix on a PC with NextFlik.
    I downloaded the demo it worked really good.

  3. It’s weird. I’ve been using Netflix (on PC) heavily now that school is over, but it was not until today (just a few hours ago) that I saw that I now have access to auto-play. I searched for “Netflix autoplay” in mid-July and next-flix seemed to be the only option. Didn’t want to pay for it (heh), so I ditched the idea. And now I have it!

    It does make my TV-marathoning experience 65% better.

  4. Same here JN, I thought I was just missing it all along. It’s the best feature ever!

  5. @JN The same thing happened with me. I just noticed it today while watching 30 Rock! Now I can fall sleep while having 30 rock play in the background. The function of asking you if you’re still watching after x number of episodes is even better for when I fall asleep. Now I don’t have to worry about wasting my bandwidth and electricity since my pc will be able to fall asleep! Awesome all around. Great way to make me forgive them about the price increase earlier this year.

  6. I HATE autoplay! You can’t get all the way through the credits without the next episode starting and now the history bar for each episode reads 0/44 minutes for each (one hour) episode, so it’s not recording the fact that you watched that episode because the episode does not play through to the end of the credits. They are overriding their own design! NOT TO MENTION the fact that Netflix does not give you the option to disable this feature…any service that you pay for should give you (the customer) as many functionality options as possible!!!

  7. Brandon Garletts

    Now that Netflix added auto-play. NextFlik updated to make the annoying “Are you still watching?” screen go away.

  8. autoplay is the worst

    This is the worst feature ever. I called months ago when they added it, because I don’t want multiple episodes to keep playing. I mostly use Netflix to watch things before I go to sleep and I don’t want them playing for hours. I called months ago, and they said a lot of people didn’t like the feature and they would offer a solution. There’s still not one. So I’m thinking of canceling my subscription all together.

  9. Reflix gives true auto play and plays the next episode for you.

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