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Believe it or not, the ‘Skip Intro’ button was inspired by Games of Thrones

To mark its 6th anniversary, the button’s creator reflects on how Game of Thrones inspired one of Netflix’s best features.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine streaming your favorite series without using the ‘Skip Intro’ button. So much that you wouldn’t believe that it was not until 2006 that this feature came into our lives.

To celebrate the sixth anniversary of the “Skip Intro” button, Cameron Johnson, Netflix’s Director of Product Innovation, explained how a function that seems simple on the outside, took a while to develop. And above all, how this feature is closely connected to HBO’s epic series, Game of Thrones.

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How it all started

According to Johnson, the idea of a skip forward and sipe backward button in a 10-second interval was already floating in the air of Netflix’s product innovation department and there were several reasons for this.

One was to give the public the chance to go back to a particular moment that you might have missed because of a distraction or to go directly to your favorite scene.

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But later, they started to realize that it could also work to skip the opening credits, which, according to Johnson an inside study showed that 15% of the time members were manually advancing the series within the first five minutes. So they went for the idea.

How the button was inspired by Game of Thrones

Believe it or not, Johnson took the inspiration to create the skip button from Game of Thrones, specifically its opening credits sequence.

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It turns out that, despite having “a famously long and beautiful opening credits sequence”, all Cameron wanted was to skip that part and jump right into the story.

“I found it frustrating to try to manually jump forward to just the right place. Sometimes I would jump too far, and sometimes I would jump too short. I wondered whether other people felt the same.” Wrote Johnson on Netflix’s blog.

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The born of the “Skip Intro” button

Rather than work on a skip 10-second button, Netflix’s team designed a button to fulfill one single purpose: skip the whole intro of a show.

“Our goal was to make this option as simple as possible while also giving members flexibility if they want to listen to that catchy theme song again (and again)”, said Cameron.

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Now that the feature was ready, what about the name? Well, it turns out that Netflix’s team had a few options: Jump Past Credits, Skip Credits, Jump Ahead, Skip Intro and simply Skip.

When they started to test it, they realize the “Skip Intro” name was well embraced by the public and the feature was a success.

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Quickly they added the button to only 250 series in the US, UK, and Canada and the feature was only available on the web.

Later on, and because of its success, it was added to all shows in August 2017 and it became available on mobile in May of 2018.

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Now, most streaming platforms have the same feature, one without which we could live today.

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