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This Is The Biggest Problem Streaming Services Need to Solve


It’s on the Netflixs and the Hulus of the world find a way to make it easier for people to find something to watch without endless amounts of scrolling. That’s admittedly easier said than done, and if I had the answer to the problem at hand, I’d probably be a wealthy man. I instead come before you as someone understanding the issue, sympathizing with my fellow viewers, and offering a few imperfect solutions for the time being.

The first thing that viewers should do if they wish to emulate the experience of cable without paying for it is to make friends with Pluto TV, the free live TV streaming service owned by Paramount. The service contains hundreds of curated channels, from a 24/7 “Godzilla” channel to endless reruns of “Tosh.0.” It is an excellent option for those who just miss the days of turning on the TV to see what’s on.

Unfortunately, the “human powered discovery” engine on HBO Max — before it just became Max — never really panned out. So we’re left to figure this all out ourselves. Another good option might be to make a list of movies or TV shows that interest you. Whenever you find yourself in scroll mode, open up that list and pull something from it. It’s a little bit of extra legwork, but it does at least solve the “aimless wandering” part of the problem. Or if you’re like me, having a shelf full of physical media also helps limit the endlessness of it all. Pulling something from your own collection does, at times, make things easier than wasting hours clicking through an infinite void.

I spoke more about this with /Film editor Ben Pearson on today’s episode of the /Film Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:

You can subscribe to /Film Daily on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and send your feedback, questions, comments, concerns, and mailbag topics to us at bpearson@slashfilm.com. Please leave your name and general geographic location in case we mention your e-mail on the air.

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