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More individuals will be able to binge watch Netflix thanks to new features

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Audio description and subtitle capabilities will be expanded in the future.

image credits: hindustantimes

Netflix is expanding its accessibility feature set in a new update targeted at supporting the world’s deaf, hard of hearing, and visually impaired.

Netflix will provide extra audio descriptions, subtitles, and foreign language dub tracks to its complete portfolio of Netflix Originals material starting this month and continuing until the start of 2023.

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Ten languages will be completely supported, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Italian, with plans to expand to Asia-Pacific languages and regional European tongues in the future.

“For decades, the entertainment you could access was determined by where you lived and what language you spoke, meaning people with AD or SDH couldn’t enjoy stories made outside of their home country,” Netflix’s director of accessibility Heather Dowdy said in a blog post accompanying the announcement.

“Our goal is to entertain the entire world, and by expanding our SDH and AD language offerings to over 40 languages, we wish to provide all of our members with the opportunity to see their lives reflected on screen.”

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Growth and Netflix

It’s good news for Netflix, which is going through one of its most difficult periods since breaking into the entertainment streaming market.

Subscriber losses, rising competition from Disney Plus and HBO Max, and the need to cancel many of its original shows – even ones with large fan bases – have plagued the streaming service this year.

While the industry as a whole has been criticised for moving too slowly in its efforts to improve accessibility for a wider audience, Netflix has been a constant advocate for the cause. It currently has 11,000 hours of audio-described content, and the latest additions will be more prominently marked on the web and in iOS apps.

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Netflix may be able to begin to make up for the recent drop in members by providing greater accessibility features to more segments of its potential audience throughout the world.

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