Netflix has launched new version of its TV app that features video previews to help users with their viewing choices. The new app, which became available globally on select devices Tuesday, replaces static imagery with short clips custom-made for the app.
“Video previews aren’t teasers or traditional trailers,” the company explained in a blog post. “They are specially designed video synopses that help members make faster and more confident decisions by quickly highlighting the story, characters and tone of a title.”
Netflix previewed the new experience in a YouTube video:
The introduction of these preview clips is just the latest in a long list of tweaks to Netflix’s app experience. The company originally used DVD cover art for its streaming titles, but quickly realized that box covers aren’t the right visual metaphor for a streaming service.
That’s why in 2013, Netflix replaced its existing artwork with landscape-mode preview images, many of which were custom-generated for the service. At the time, Netflix also rolled out a new TV interface with big and bold preview images for featured shows.
Last year, Netflix began to take this visual approach one step further. The company generated not one but six images for every show, and then pitted them against each other in A/B tests to see which image worked best.
Netflix isn’t currently doing the same for video previews, with a spokesperson saying that the company generated one video preview for each title in its catalog. “That said, we are continuously testing to understand how to improve these previews over time,” she added.
Netflix’s video previews are rolling out to most game consoles and Roku devices immediately, and are coming to smart TVs and other streaming devices in the coming months.