If you’re like me, you have subscriptions to Netflix, Prime or whatever film and TV streaming services are available in your country. I’m a self-confessed binge watcher and there’s nothing I enjoy more than working my way through a new TV series (or an old one if I’m feeling nostalgic). But I just can’t help but think about what improvements could be made or what new features would add value. So here are the five features I’d like to see on streaming services:
What’s that song / who is that actor
Amazon Prime is currently the only service which offers this feature thanks to its ownership of IMDB. By hovering over the video, it will reveal which actors are currently in the scene, little pieces of trivia and what song is playing. It’s a great feature that I’d like to see other streaming services employ. It can be so frustrating when you don’t know what song is playing or who that actor is. Including these extra pieces of information as you watch really adds to the viewing experience.
Netflix’s curated lists of films or TV shows is a key characteristic of the site. The sometimes strange collections of films are built to encourage you to find something new to watch. But what if we could create our own playlists in a similar way to Spotify? You could create multiple playlists based on your different interests and moods, pick out the best episodes from your favourite TV show or collect all the films starring your favourite actor, the possibilities and creativity are endless. The streaming services could go one step further and let us share them with other people as well as make the playlists searchable.
The one downside we’re all experiencing in moving from DVD’s to online streaming is a lack of special features. I always love to listen to the audio commentaries, the bloopers are funny and it’s fascinating to see the behind the scenes footage to see how the film was put together. There has to be a way of incorporating this content somehow on our streaming sites. Amazon Prime is closest to figuring this out by putting all the special features in one chunk at the end of some films on their site, but it’s not perfect. The audio commentary is still missing and there’s no way to jump from one feature to the next as they all follow on from each other.
Watch with friends
Some separate websites already offer the ability to watch something on Netflix simultaneously with a friend, but it would be great if Netflix and others incorporated this feature more fully. From two friends catching up over an episode or two or full watch parties that anyone with a Netflix account could join, making the site a more social place would increase engagement and bring people together. Why not add a chat feature to let people message as they react to what they are watching together? The ability to send friends a link to your favourite scene in a film or even playlists of episodes they should watch would make the site a whole lot more fun too.
Does your streaming service keep suggesting a film you just know you will never watch? It’s just not your cup of tea yet it keeps popping up in your suggested viewings. By giving us the ability to block or hide shows, it should help us to find what we want to watch easier and will help the site’s algorithms better understand what kind of TV shows and films we’re into. Just give us the ability to change our mind and unblock them (just in case!)
Agree with my suggestions? What other features would you like to see the top streaming sites add? Let me know in the comments below.