Alexa Will ‘Play Something’ You May Like on Netflix When Asked
Amazon Fire TV owners can now ask Alexa to “Play Something on Netflix” to get a video playing on the streaming service immediately. The actual content is chosen by Netflix’s algorithm to be something the user might like but might not have selected through scrolling.
Something on Netflix
The feature is not dissimilar to what Alexa already offers with Prime videos, but the partnership is notable since Amazon and Netflix are rivals when it comes to streaming services, if not in voice assistants. Amazon and Netflix have tied the new feature to the release of the newest season of The Witcher on Netflix, as seen in the ad above. The friendly tone of the deal is also evident from the way Netflix is not promoting the show using the sometimes difficult names of characters and how a voice assistant might misinterpret them. That concept is still limited to ads for Lupin, like the ad where a watcher struggles to pronounce it so that his TV voice assistant will understand what he is asking for.
“Deciding what to watch isn’t easy when you have a lot of great options to choose from. So, we are excited to partner with Fire TV to bring the Alexa voice technology to the Netflix Play Something feature,” Netflix marketing partnerships director Magno Herran said. “Now you can instantly discover a show or film we know you’ll love based on what you’ve watched before.”
The collaboration with Netflix pairs well with the voice focus of the new Amazon-produced Fire TVs. The Omni comes with a far-field microphone for hands-free Alexa access. The new TVs came out in tandem with new Alexa-enabled X-ray features that share information on the bottom of the screen and a new conversational feature for Alexa where viewers can ask the voice assistant what they should watch and discuss what kind of movies and shows they like. Alexa then offers suggestions based on aspects like genre, performers, and Netflix isn’t Amazon Fire’s only new partner either, as the TVs can now play TikTok as videos directly through an app. The emphasis on voice builds on the higher engagement with content Amazon has found from voice interactions.
“Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen that Fire TV customers that used voice engaged with content almost twice as much as those who didn’t,” Fire TV director Charlotte Maines said. “With Fire TV and Netflix’s ‘Play Something’ we can quickly help customers find the TV show or movie that’s right for them.”