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Netflix Direct a new linear service is being tested in France

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Netflix Direct is a new linear programming offering from the streaming giant.

According to Variety, it’s being tested in France, and there’s no word on whether or not it might be trialled elsewhere. For those too young to remember a time before streaming (or DVDs / VHS / Channel 4 / BBC 2…) linear channels show programmes one after the other according to a fixed schedule. It’s just like watching Freeview without using catch-up services!

Netflix Direct is only available to subscribers, and only through the web browser. This is the first time Netflix has tried such a service. Why France? On their website, Netflix said it was due to:

“consumption of traditional TV [in France]. …many viewers like the idea of programming that doesn’t require them to choose what they are going to watch. …Whether you are lacking inspiration or whether you are discovering Netflix for the first time, you could let yourself be guided for the first time without having to choose a particular title and let yourself be surprised by the diversity of Netflix’s library…”

It’s not an idea that has occurred to us, but Netflix does have a reputation for knowing its audience. Although the service has launched, it is expected to more broadly available in December, presumably not just via browser. It’s another example of the diverse strategy we also reported on regarding the new show Paranormal.

Would such a service be popular in the UK? We aren’t sure — we’d love to hear your opinions though!