You Can’t Escape The Dumbest Thing About Netflix

Netflix plans to spend around $13 billion on content alone over the course of 2018, but seems to have a budget of $0 for a mandatory feature that plagues subscribers every day.

Let me set the scene: You open Netflix. You see a beautiful layout with engaging photos organized in helpfully curated rows. The nearly endless possibilities for what to watch immediately becomes clear. You’re hopeful you’ll find something good in mere seconds. Then you hover your cursor over a Netflix Original for too long and the autoplay trailer starts. That might be incredibly annoying, but the trailer at least lets you know what the show or movie will be about.

After scrolling for awhile, though, you happen upon a show or movie that’s not a Netflix Original. The autoplay starts and you’re transported straight into the depths of hell. For an inexplicable reason, the most soul-destroying stock music plays over nonsensical scenes from the show or movie you’re considering watching. You just want to watch a trailer for “The Breakfast Club” or “Great News,” but instead Netflix forces atrocious Muzak into your ears.

A particularly irritating, but funny example of this: find old music documentaries and see what stock music Netflix thinks kind-of-sort-of sounds fitting.

―If you want to stay informed about what’s joining Netflix on a weekly basis, make sure to subscribe to the Streamline newsletter.―

Netflix

What’s spurring laughter among “The Breakfast Club” actors? I don’t know, because terrible music plays over this clip instead of dialogue.

You can run, but you can’t hide from this sonic disaster because Netflix doesn’t allow you to turn off the autoplaying trailers feature. Apparently the company has “data” that subscribers like this autoplay feature, despite countless think-pieces declaring otherwise.

As such, the war on autoplay as a feature seems to be lost. But maybe Netflix can still be persuaded to lose the bone-chilling stock music?

To the company’s credit, Netflix has added less infuriating previews to many popular shows and movies that aren’t Originals. The autoplay preview for a show like “Friends” has an actual clip from the show with audible dialogue. Occasionally, a movie will have what looks like a custom trailer for the service. Either of these types of previews seems acceptable to me.

Not acceptable: music that sounds like Netflix created it with Microsoft’s ill-fated music creator “Songsmith.” For those who haven’t gone down the Songsmith rabbit hole before, here’s the actual advertisement Microsoft used for the product: