Netflix has saved us 195 hours of repetitive viewing with a simple button. In exchange, he has killed an art

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This was commented by Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the implementation of the famous ‘Skip Intro’ button that appears in all the opening credits of the movies and series on the platform: “in On a typical Netflix day, the “Skip Intro” button is pressed 136 million times, a cumulative time savings of 195 years.” Long time skipping credits.

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Saving time and effort. The implementation of the button, according to Johnson, had its origin in the desire to save users time: “six years ago, it was just a glimmer of an idea. We investigated and discovered that in 15% of the cases the affiliates manually advanced the series in the first five minutes. This made us think that a lot of people wanted to skip the intro.” And they optimized the feature: “Instead of building something for different needs, like a 10-second skip button, we designed a single-purpose solution that did one thing really well.”

Everybody wants their button. The success of the Skip Intro button had a few side effects. The first of them is that practically all platforms have ended up having their own. HBO and Disney+, Netflix’s two main competitors, have it (as well as others not as widespread as Apple TV+), just as almost all of them largely have the option to skip to the next episode of the series during the end credits. In some cases better implemented, and leaving enough time to think if we want to see another episode or even (madness) stay to watch the credits, in other cases worse and forcing the viewer to go to the next episode yes or yes.

The end of the credits. Another side effect, this perhaps more ambiguous and broader in scope, is that the ‘Skip intro’ button has ended up banishing elaborate credit titles in the cinema, but especially in series. It is true that since the nineties, the credits were transferred to the end of the footage, it is said that due to a survey on the subject commissioned by Spielberg himself.

Since then, the credits have become more or less sophisticated, with two compatible tendencies: filmmakers like Christopher Nolan remove all traces of the opening credits, sending the viewer directly into the action. And there are plenty of end credits that are comments or versions of what has happened in the film, as a kind of summary of what has been seen, rather than an “author’s” version of the film’s themes, as they popularized in their day creators like Kyle Cooper, and before him, Saul Bass.

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Goodbye, credits, goodbye. But as we say, it is in the initial stretch of the series where this change is most noticeable. Of course, there are still productions that maintain their credits (especially if they come from more or less conventional channels), but others produced by the same platform, such as ‘Lady’s Gambit’, relegate them to the end. The sign of the times, of non-stop consumption and series marathons, but it is a pity that along the way we have lost one of the signs of distinction that they gave personality to film and television.

This was commented by Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of…

This was commented by Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of…

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