Not looking to annoy but I had completely forgotten until purchasing a new now TV subscription as to why I keep shunning this service. Some of its content actually intrigues me especially with the HBO rights being acquired by Sky and most HBO shows are of (at least to me personally) high calibre. I have an apple TV box and having access to a variety of optional tv content is always something I appreciate even if I wish it was all under one banner that I pay for instead of being traded piecemeal between different providers. The inclusion of original content has changed that somewhat but its still something I wish could be consolidated more.
There was recently a call for interactive content (video games) to go this route, I'm glad it hasn't fundamentally for the above reason... with that said on to my problem.
While I find the trappings of elusive content annoying its something I can handle I just pick my moments and dart in and out when I want to watch something.
Amazon prime I keep around more then most as it comes with quicker delivery times as well as a good range of digital content.
Netflix I periodically go back to for its originals and how its interface and app features are on point something which apple tv failed to do until I purchased the official box - the ability to auto-play...
Ah yes, auto-play something which to date is still missing from now TV despite it being a key feature for most customers... and ultimately the reason I walk away from this service having watched very little content... EVERY TIME. Opting instead to find other means to view their digital range of content that doesn't involve me having to be involved after every damn episode.
To everyone here who likes clicking every single episode of a 6, 8, 12, 16, 24 episode season - good for you, some of us don't. Some of us like to hit play and do other things while the episodes wind down or at least like to have the option to do so. At this point I have to assume there is some metric required of these platforms that likes to account the viewers participation and for viewing numbers or something similar that they are in fact engaging with every episode of a show.
Incompetence would have been believable but as its a simple auto-play feature I fail to believe these companies are that dense. While I know there is support for stopping things after each episode there is simply no excuse for people who are sometimes idling or doing other things while listening to their favourite shows who don't like to stop what they are doing because their streaming service wants to log their confirmation on yet another episode of house or Dexter.
Being afforded the option to turn auto-play "on" or "off" would be a perfectly sound middle ground and keep both customer bases happy instead of forcing a model that is insufficient for some. I get annoyed when I'm asked to confirm after 5-6 episodes on Netflix but its still better then a single damn episode on NOW. Its why I consider a lot of these content providers out of touch when their apps never make things easy on their customers or give them options instead of forcing bad or lack of features. Auto-play is a barebones basic that all content providers should be including for their long form content. Its absence on some still baffles the ever loving hell out of me.
Seriously why is such a basic feature missing? I am gonna cancel again once I've taken note of some of your shows and find ways to play them in a more binge friendly method either via apple tv or something else. I would rather use your service as its more affordable but with a lack of basic features I am forced to reconsider my investment with you every single time.
Its really annoying and quite frankly its probably the last time I do until you offer this basic feature.
No arguments from me re. Now's relative offering in the streaming space and how poor It is.
You only have to peruse this forum to see how poor it can be especially on some platforms such as the AppleTV.
Sorry to say though, the majority of your post pertains to an auto play function. You are clear that you appreciate that some don't need it and have articulated why you feel you do and that's fine. From my perspective that complaint gets filed very clearly under "first world problems"!! We probably differ massively here but I cant imagine wanting an autoplay for a couple of reasons - firstly I don't have the time or inclination to 'binge' multiple episodes of things - im too fidgety and will want to get up and walk around and at the very least the end of an episode is a perfect opportunity to do so even if im intending to watch another straight away.... secondly if im watching something then im *watching* it - its not some kind of video wallpaper happening in the room where im not paying attention to whats going on therefore clicking a button on a remote is something im there and engaged to be able to do with ease.
I understand your problems though.
I can only hope that Now's technical ability eventually catches up with its expectation that it is a major player in the UK streaming market and therefore they realise that the app experience on ALL platforms they support is essential to attract and keep customers. In particular things like 5.1 missing on the AppleTV is inexcusable in 2022 and frankly their service needs to catch up with Disney and Netflix and amazon in providing 4K and Atmos content - yet is isn't... its so far behind and laughable more expensive.
I have already cancelled my Cinema sub, and the boost sub - don't miss either - Now must be losing customers at quite a rate.
@Anonymous User @nst
While I personally prefer the option not to autoplay, I’d like to see it as just that - an option - on behalf of every frazzled mother who keeps having to rush to start the next episode of Peppa Pig for their toddler.
And I would like to add a plea for Now to remember when people want subtitles, and us not have to turn them on for every damn episode of something we aren’t watching back to back 😢
My sentiments exactly, and again its down to the individual but merely the option I don't see how its an impossible thing to implement. I bet it even exists in the code in the backend somewhere but its simply switched off behind a potential future paywall or for their own bespoke box like apple tv was to me.
Please everyone empty your plea's here any and all required features welcome, they may ignore us but again maybe one day they will be read (possibly in a few decades).
Just jumping back to your pepper pig argument - amen, short shows exist the mere ability to flip a switch and be able to binge a series without an episodic confirmation - the mere option would be great.
For me and again forgive me people who see this feature as pointless it would be easier if things worked the other way... Most services that have an auto-play feature have a 5-15 second wind up till the next episode now for the people who dont want to move on to that next episode can simply use the remote to cancel it and will find it simple to if they like to engage with every episode (get up have a walk/whatever).
People like me who like to be relatively hands off will never hit that wind down and are never paying attention to the tv while they are doing work and listening to their favourite content. Every episode I have to stop what im doing sometimes find the remote (I lose it or move it about as the day progresses) - in fact i don't even know where it is now but I'm on Netflix so I don't have to confirm every damn episode thankfully lol.
Anyway sorry for the rambling I just want these apps to be better in the long run and not just for the providers own personal box but for the app so people with smart tvs and consoles as well as third party streaming devices all have an equal and best experience instead of all requiring overpriced bespoke ###### - much of which will never give the customer options to provide a better experience.
I find NOW a fascinating example of corporate hubris and complacency.
Lets distill it down to the basics:
NOW provide an entertainment and movies package for £20 per month. If you dare to want that in a quality that's been commonplace as a minimum standard for the last 10 years you have to pay an additional £5.... and even then we are only talking 1080p and 5.1 and THEN only if you chose to use streaming hardware that they can be bothered to fully support... and by the way if they don't fully support it they are still happy to take £5 a month from you and not provide 5.1 sound (cough - appleTV).
This is, of course, just ludicrous.
OK, so lets compare this service to 3 other big, popular services - Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.
All 3 of these services have comparable content... i.e. TV shows and movies. None of them split that into two offerings... its all just under the one subscription. All 3 services provide unique content i.e. stuff that's only available on their service - arguably Netflix is king here for original stuff, and Disney+ a very close second.. and Amazon a bit further behind.
All 3 are much cheaper than NOW.
Netflix... the HD tier is £10.99 a month (1080 and 5.1)
Disney+ is £7.99 including 4K and Atmos content.
Amazon is £7.99 including 4K and Atmos content (and a TON of other benefits including music etc etc).
You can see here that NOW's cost is prohibitive in comparison and is utterly uncompetitive.
Ive always felt that NOW are complacent as they have things that are unique which, HISTORICALLY, people have been happy to pay for... that is a Cinema channel that always got the biggest movies first, and entertainment Chanels such as Sky1 which people wanted as back in the day it was the only real alternative to BBC ITV etc..
Of course... this may have held more weight 10 - 20 years ago as they did have something that nobody else had... but that's far from the case now... and its getting worse for them by the day.
Look at the cinema channel.... I don't know about everyone else's taste but there's been no "big" movies appearing there for at least the last 3 months..... so this weekend they got Dune... fine.... but a few weeks ago Disney+ got Death on the Nile... not to mention Netflix with their original content movies - the Adam Project to name but one. This weekend Amazon Prime debuted James Bond - NOT Sky (as would always have been the case in the past)....
Sky cinema are being left behind - and its becoming more and more obvious. I myself cancelled the Cinema pass because I just wasnt watching anything on Sky Cinema and new content that interested me only came up once every few months.
So what will happen to NOW? I think its really interesting..... the service cannot continue long term - its just impossible. I read with interest that the Sky Glass puck will be available stand alone come the summer of this year - this is no surprise as many prospective Sky Glass customers simply don't want or need a whole new TV to access the service. Sky Glass seems to me to be the future of Sky as we know it - dishes are just a thing of the past and totally unnecessary - they already concede that Netflix is a major draw for customers and bundle it in with their content as standard.
To me, NOW exists purely as a "budget" way into Sky content - that's the way ive seen it as I used to subscribe to SkyQ and pay nearly £60 a month for the privilege - moving to NOW saved me a fortune and I didn't really lose any content however of course the picture and sound quality have taken a bit of a tumble.
NOW should always be an alternative to Sky Glass as they need a service that is app accessed rather than needing proprietary hardware which again will put off prospective customers.
HOWEVER... NOW must understand that NOW is directly competing with Netflix, Disney+. and Amazon Prime... and its content is just not competitive enough anymore to arrogantly provide less than 1080p at twice the price. They will have to lower their prices and scrap boost - if they don't I just cant see NOW surviving into the future when their completion is so compelling and superior and cheaper....
NOW should be £9.99 a month for entertainment AND Cinema at 1080p an 5.1 as an absolute minimum. Fine, keep 4K and ATMOS for Sky Glass (even though your streaming competitors already do this).
Interesting times eh.
I don’t know what the Netflix, Amazon and Disney retention deals are like, but nobody need pay the sticker price for Now.
And we are rewatching The Wire without paying a penny more than our discounted Entertainment subscription, while everybody else wants £70 for it.
Yes, Now will stand or fall on whether people are prepared to pay their prices from the content, and to a lesser extent accept the format compromises; but the golden age of streaming is already over, as the big 3 providers splinter into 20 smaller ones, each demanding a sub, and so we will all start chopping and changing, treating a one-month sub as the price of watching a particular item, and (whisper it) many folks torrenting again if something they want exceeds what they are prepared to lay out month by month.
Now doesn’t look expensive to Sky; it looks cheap as chips compared with what Sky have always been able to get people to pay.Soon, maybe, Sky will have Sky Glass/Puck as a mid-tier option between Sky Q and Now; but unless and until Now starts haemorrhaging customers or getting an unsustainable churn rate, Sky are not even going to consider Now pricing vis-a-vis what we might see as its competitors, all the rival streaming services mentioned above.
Absolutely, I realise auto-play is something I hold quite high in regard but with me its a convenience thing, I get that my rationale in this regard isn't for everyone but merely the option would be a nice thing to have.
I remember complaining when the same thing happened to apple tv and apple flagrantly ignored me and loads of customers demanding the same feature (bearing in mind at one point they had it and it then deactivated only to never be reactivated - the ability to auto-play) I ended up buying the apple tv box just to see if that would reactivate auto-play for my purchased tv shows and shocker it did... meaning it was never deactivated it was simply removed from people who opted to install the app on their competitor brands over people who purchased apples overpriced bespoke box... I'm sure it still hasn't been fixed because apple are desperate for people to use their service - classic gun to head move, removing features for some instead of making a better service for all... its genius really.
I'm sure there are tonnes of things missing from these app services (you have mentioned a great few yourself) and largely all of them will be ignored sadly. A company only improves a service when its finances are threatened like everything. I just wanted to state my personal disappointment... for the record in the rather naïve hope that in 2054 when the marketing execs at NOW are looking for ways to further entice their forever unsatisfied customer base that they will fix these rather simple issues in favour of the customer experience. Yours, mine and many others... I admit it is a pipe dream but if you don't ask they can say you never did.
For now it's only on Android devices and Smart TVs.
The poster has got way too excited as they have posted the same thing over many threads.