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Netflix prepares for podcasts

An inactive feature in an update to the Netflix Android app, which allows users to listen to shows while video is off, has been has been discovered by XDA Developers.



Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Imagine how many Netflix stand-up comedy specials one could consume if the shows were turned into podcasts? Netflix has added a feature to their app for Android that allows users to turn off video while keeping the audio going – but it is inactive for now. 

In recent months, Netflix has been making bold moves, from overhauling payback design on its Android app to even offering some of its originals to prospective users for free, with no sign-up needed.  

While the audio-only option may seem like a competitive move against the likes of Spotify and Apple Podcasts, Netflix has not expressed interest in being a podcast provider with this feature – yet. However, this may compete with YouTube Premium – which offers a similar service for videos on its platform. 

XDA Developers uncovered the following lines from version 7.79.1 of Netflix’s Android app: 

Save your data by turning off the video and listening to your favorite shows. 

The video is off, but you can continue listening to your show while you are busy doing other things. 

The background feature is handy for four reasons:  

  • using other apps while continuing with a show; 
  • not being near the screen but still being able to consume the content; 
  • a device that’s low on battery can benefit from having its screen off while the show’s audio can continue; 
  • and those who are data-limited can conserve data by removing the data-heavy video stream. 

The future of multitasking with Netflix looks promising, but there is no guarantee of when (or even if) the streaming service will flip the switch to make this feature live.