Netflix is now competing with podcasts, kind of, by rolling out an audio-only playback mode in its Android app. The feature is a server-side update, and if you have it, you’ll see a new “Video Off” button at the top of the full-screen player. If you tap it that makes the screen go black, leaving you with audio-only playback.
You can also control the mode from inside the app settings by selecting an “Audio Only” setting. Tapping that will let you choose between “Always On,” “Headphones or External Speakers” and “Off.”
This will cut down your data use and let you listen to programs while you are busy doing something else, like housework. It should be perfect for things like documentaries, standup comedy and other audio-focused content, but won’t work for everything of course.
It’s a good way to consume content while doing other things. Netflix already produces its own podcasts, but believe it or not, they’re only available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other audio-only services. While audio-only playback is now rolling out to the Netflix Android app, it might take a while to reach your region. Once it does, you can listen to whatever you like with no video to watch.