Netflix has dramatically changed the landscape of movies and television. The world of streaming is officially here. Amazon Prime, Hulu, Dinsey Plus, Paramount Plus and HBO Max are among the many that have followed in Netflix’s wake, with the likes of HBO Max taking inspiration from the streaming forefather.
One of the main problems with streaming for many is that there is too much to choose from. Many people have had the unpleasant experience of endlessly scrolling through the vast array of content available on any one of the streaming platforms, in a futile bid to make a choice on what to watch. Last year, Netflix launched play something to nip this in the bud. Play something enables you to have a tv show or movie randomly selected for you based on your viewing history. A handy feature, and that is what HBO Max has decided to riff off of with their new feature, a shuffle button.
HBO Max’s shuffle option differs slightly from Netflix’s play something. For one, shuffle is only available on the desktop version of the service. Also, shuffle is only available on a select amount of content on the platform. Currently, HBO Max is offering shuffle on just 45 of the shows on the service, including the likes of Freinds, Curb your Enthusiasm and The Big Bang Theory. The shuffle option appears once you’ve selected a specific show to watch. For instance, say you want to watch an episode of South Park, but are not sure which one to pick, shuffle will offer up a random episode for you. Whereas of course, the Play Something option on Netflix could pick you any film or episode from any series.
At first glance then, it would appear that HBO Max’s shuffle option is slightly more restrictive than that of its major competitor Netflix. This move was deliberately designed by HBO Max, as the company says it will; “give[s] users some context into the content they will be shown.”
Context may be all well and good but for those more indecisive than the rest, HBO Max’s shuffle still leaves the issue of picking a series to settle on, before randomizing on episode selection. Also, limiting the feature to 45 shows and not the whole HBO Max back catalogue again poses a restriction that isn’t the case over at Netflix. However, these are the early days for the feature and perhaps given time its offerings will expand to reflect Netflix in a greater capacity. Randomizing and shuffling aside, HBO Max are off to a flyer this year.
The streaming service has already had a major hit with James Gunn’s Peacemaker and has plenty more original content on the way with the likes of Batgirl. As well as this, the massive success of The Batman in cinemas has fans eager to get their hands on the world’s greatest detective as soon as possible on HBO Max. When it comes to the likes of Peacemaker and The Batman shuffling won’t be necessary at all.