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This article was published on December 6, 2016

Netflix finally adds video previews — but don’t call them trailers

Netflix finally adds video previews — but don’t call them trailers
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Netflix today announced the launch of video previews. In the announcement, the company was quick to point out that these weren’t teasers or trailers, but instead a way to help users make better decisions about what to watch.

The video preview aids users by “highlighting the story, characters, and tone of a title” — which totally sounds like a trailer. These “not-trailers” will play automatically on the title page when you click to view more information about a show or film.

According to the announcement:

Today we are launching a new television user interface that uses video more extensively to bring content alive in real time and helps members decide whether to click play. As we launch more than 1,000 hours of original content next year, we know we have less than 90 seconds to capture someone’s attention and get them excited about a title — that’s why we’re introducing video previews into the TV browsing experience.

Call it what you want, but the feature is long overdue. Currently, Netflix only uses a rather odd star rating system — which tends to be hit or miss for me (and I’ve rated over 1,000 titles) — and a short blurb as a description. Users are then forced to leave the site to check IMDB for more in-depth information, or head to YouTube to view a trailer.

Why do you make our lives so difficult, Netflix?

The previews launch globally today, and they’ll make their way to all users over the next couple of weeks.

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