Netflix begins linear TV channel experiment in France

Netflix has made its first foray into linear TV programming with the launch of a TV and movie channel trial in France.

The linear channel, named ‘Netflix Direct’, will air French and international films and TV series that are available via Netflix’s traditional streaming platform. Though the channel will feature scheduled content, it will be streamed on the company’s web browser-based site, which can be found on set-top boxes through deals with the likes of Orange, Canal Plus, and SFR in France.

Netflix said (via Variety) it chose France because “many viewers like the idea of programming that doesn’t require them to choose what they are going to watch”.

The has launched in select areas of France, with plans to rollout the service to more places in the country in early December.

The streaming giant previously tested out a ‘Shuffle Play’ option, which streamed recommended programming on a per user basis. On the other hand, in a more similar vein to traditional TV, Netflix Direct features a fixed programming schedule for everyone who tunes in.