Netflix Now Plays 30-Second Vertical Snapchat-like Trailers On Your Phone, and It’s Super Ugly
Just yesterday we heard reports that Netflix has considered buying their own movies theaters. But now they’re ensuring you absorb most of your Netflix viewing in the tiniest, bite-size format in an unideal aspect ratio.
If you have the Netflix mobile app on an iOs device, you’ll notice that as of Thursday, there’s a new feature at the top of the page: mini movie and TV trailers that play in a slideshow format. It’s pretty much like Snapchat and Instagram stories, where you click on one of the of circular thumbnails, it plays a short trailer, then you swipe to the next. It gives you the ability to watch the show/movie right away or add it to your queue. As Variety reports, these new mobile previews, which are launching on Android soon, are “designed to suck viewers into the Netflix programming catalog.” It’s especially smart for attracting demographics already familiar with the social media format, and is one way of Netflix getting you to watch one of those 15 new shows you’ve literally never heard of until now. But it’s also freaking annoying.
Thing is, all of those trailers play in vertical format only, and it looks terrible. That means everything is squished into an ugly aspect ratio that is far from ideal when it comes to watching, really, anything. Here, take a look (h/t /Film):
If I wanna be sold on a movie or show, I would like to see some of said movie or show in the trailer, not just a bunch of extreme close-ups of actors’ faces filling the screen from edge-to-edge. Sure, these are just for trailers and you can eventually turn your phone horizontal to watch the actual content (still unideal, but whatever). But this doesn’t help the argument that Netflix is ruining the theatrical experience one bit.
If Netflix is so intent on serving up short-form, snack-able content – consider the new 15-minute standup specials they plan to launch – and on the tiniest of viewing formats, what could be next? A new David Fincher anthology series told over a series of 30-second Snapchat-esque videos? Will Martin Scorsese’s next Netflix project be a live-streamed crime drama you can only watch via an Apple Watch? Will the films they pulled from Cannes now be cropped to a vertical aspect ratio? Who needs a premiere on the Croisette when you’ve got an iPhone!