Netflix is trying out a different streaming approach for its subscribers in France. Introduced as a new online channel called Direct, select content from the streaming service such as popular films, series and documentaries will be presented in a linear pre-programmed feed – much like traditional TV.
The new channel was launched on 5 November and is accessible via Netflix France’s website. However, it is available only in select areas, with the company planning to further expand reach throughout the country in December.
“In France, watching traditional TV remains hugely popular with people who just want a ‘lean back’ experience where they don’t have to choose shows,” said Netflix. “If you’re lacking inspiration or using Netflix for the first time, you can let yourself be carried away without having to choose a particular title, and be surprised by the diversity of the Netflix catalog.”
Netflix Direct features content from France, US and other regions which are selected from the service’s exclusives and its existing library. The channel will present the aforementioned content with a 24-hour grid of programmed showtimes and its content scheduling is regenerated automatically over a five day period. Additionally, content programming is determined by what’s popular on the platform as a whole rather than a user’s personal preference.
The new channel is exclusive to France for the time being. Whether the streaming service plans to introduce Direct to other regions around the world on a much later date remains to be seen.