Amazon’s streaming service is currently testing a shuffle tool that could help switch up your binge-watching routine.
Prime Video’s shuffle tool will not pull from Amazon’s entire catalog but will instead shuffle episodes within a given series where it’s supported, the company confirmed to Gizmodo. That might make it a useful tool for popular legacy series like, for example, Friends or Seinfeld, but not so great for serialized TV. At present, the tool is limited to only certain titles on Android-supported devices, meaning iOS users won’t have access to it at this time.
While the company confirmed the test as well as how the shuffle function works, it’s unclear whether Amazon plans to roll the tool out more widely down the line.
Shuffle features seem to be slowly making their way to streaming services and could, at least to some extent, help with the overabundance of choice on many platforms. After running its own experiments with a shuffle functionality for years, Netflix is set to formally debut a shuffle feature that will surface titles based on a user’s individual preferences. The tool is expected to hit the platform sometime in the first half of 2021.
Amazon’s feature clearly caters to a far more specific pool of content by limiting shuffling to episodes within a specific series on content for which it’s available. But should the feature ever see a wide release for all Prime Video users, it would make a lot of sense for older series that tend to be top performers on streaming services. It would also take the guesswork out of deciding which season in an episodic series to start from when you’re just looking for something to throw on.
I, for one, would love to make shuffling classic Robert Stack on Unsolved Mysteries my new normal.