The feature is currently only available in the US and Canada.
Netflix and Alexa: Avid Netflix users are aware that Netflix has for long been using users’ tastes and preferences to suggest similar titles that viewers might enjoy. The OTT platform even made this simpler by making it a one-button solution which picks something based on the users’ tastes and starts playing it on its own. This functionality was first called Shuffle, and has now reached the term ‘Play Something’ for it. However, now, it has made it even better. Netflix has now taken its feature that selects titles that a viewer might like and linked it with Amazon’s AI and streaming hardware that can be controlled with the voice.
With this, in the US and Canada, users having an Echo speaker or app, a Fire TV device and an active Netflix subscription would only have to say “Alexa, Play Something”, and The Fire TV would open Netflix and start playing titles that Netflix has selected based on the viewers’ taste. The feature is also available now in the two countries via the Alexa Voice remote, which means that you need not have an Echo speaker or app to make use of this.
The development was shared by the two companies on Monday, in which it also said, “You can also ask Alexa to Play Something from across the room with the recently launched Fire TV Omni Series which features hands-free voice controls.” However, this feature of Netflix does not seem to have been enabled for any other voice assistants, including Google Assistant or Comcast.
While the feature is handy and many might enjoy it, it does bring up the question of why Amazon would pair up its Alexa with Netflix when the latter is clearly in a battle of OTT domination with Amazon Prime Video. Nonetheless, it is likely that this functionality might be reaching out to other voice assistants soon, since the promotional poster for this feature states “Available first on Fire TV”.