Bad Idea: Netflix Lateral Binging

"Bad Ideas" are concepts that have core problems, but are still interesting.

Netflix as a streaming platform still has the legacy of its DVD-in-your-mailbox history. The user's list is where they can save all the shows and movies they want to watch or rewatch. It is a big pile of titles that usually requires a lot of scrolling. In all likelihood, a user with a large list will just use the search feature anyway- making the list a moot point.

Netflix never really has gone down the Playlist path. Flixtapes was a nod to this sort of idea but really is a social sharing idea more than a navigation tool for the user. for TV the only native method for watching a show is to drill down to a title, pick a show, and start watching them in order. 


The Bad Idea: Take a half step between simply watching a show in order, and Algorithmic 'Pandora' type smart players. Instead have an intlerface to allow the user to create a playlist type queue from titles (or specific genre, MPAA rating, etc) and fill out an amount of TV time, say 3 hours. They can have the shows selected either play the next unwatched episode in the series or pick a one at random.

Example 1: I want to let my kids watch their cartoons, but I don't want them being sucked into endless episodes of the same show. So I put on the "Saturday Morning" block that shows 1 random episode from each of their 4 favorite shows, before turning itself off.

Example 2: I get home late and am tired. I want to watch something not very challenging, and I don't want to make a decision. So I put on my "Midnight Drive-in block" that shows me a random episode of Burn Notice, followed by a random 1980s Martial Arts film.

Why it is a bad idea: Well, since the content is always changing, what happens when a specific title is no longer available?  But the main issue is that this more or less reinvents traditional TV, and so why go through the trouble of setting up a programming block when you can just turn on the TV to any channel?  (To which a probable response is that it offers a more nuanced control over your specific tastes or what you want you kids watching. Probably not for everyone but I think I would use it.)