Netflix is facing criticism from film-makers after announcing a new test feature that will allow viewers to watch content at different speeds.
On Monday (October 28), the streaming giant confirmed it was trialling the feature, which allows downloaded shows and films to be viewed at a slower and faster pace on a smartphone.
It immediately sparked backlash from the likes of The Incredibles director Brad Bird and Judd Apatow, who co-created the series Love for the platform.
No @Netflix no. Don’t make me have to call every director and show creator on Earth to fight you on this. Save me the time. I will win but it will take a ton of time. Don’t fuck with our timing. We give you nice things. Leave them as they were intended to be seen. https://t.co/xkprLM44oC
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) October 28, 2019
— Peter Ramsey (@pramsey342) October 28, 2019
Apatow wrote: “Don’t make me have to call every director and show creator on Earth to fight you on this. Save me the time. I will win but it will take a ton of time. Don’t fuck with our timing. We give you nice things. Leave them as they were intended to be seen.”
Peter Ramsay, director of the acclaimed Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse described it as “tasteless” and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul said it was at risk of “destroying” art.
“There is NO WAY Netflix will move forward with this,” Paul tweeted. “That would mean they are completely taking control of everyone else’s art and destroying it. Netflix is far better than that. Am I right Netflix?”
The new trial feature is only available on a small subset of Android devices, but allows viewers the chance to play content from 0.5x, the regular speed, up to the speed of 1.5x. Although a rarity in TV, it is often used in podcasting and allows listeners to experience episodes at a greater speed.
A Netflix spokesperson confirmed: “We’re always experimenting with new ways to help members use Netflix. This test makes it possible to vary the speed at which people watch shows on their mobiles. As with any test, it may not become a permanent feature on Netflix.”