On July 8, 2022, Netflix announced the arrival of Spatial Audio in collaboration with German audio company Sennheiser. With Spatial Audio, the content streaming platform plans to improve users’ viewing experience as sound can have a significant impact on the overall atmosphere of a scene and change how the audience responds to it.
Netflix Spatial Audio is now available for select titles
As mentioned in Netflix’s official press release, “Spatial Audio helps to translate the cinematic experience of immersive audio to any stereo, so the work creators do to bring you into the story happens no matter what device you use to watch Netflix.” Spatial Audio is rolling out for several shows on Netflix’s catalogue and viewers can listen to it by typing “spatial audio” in the search bar and selecting a show or film that supports it.
As mentioned on the official support page, Netflix enables Spatial Audio using Sennheiser AMBEO technology to enhance stereo audio with an immersive surround sound experience. If viewers do not have access to surround sound speakers, spatial audio is enabled automatically when watching a compatible TV show or movie using stereo audio. If viewers have access to surround sound speakers, watching TV shows and movies in 5.1 surround sound or Dolby Atmos is recommended by Netflix.
Furthermore, viewers should be aware that if they see the 5.1 surround sound icon or Dolby Atmos icon next to the title’s description, Spatial Audio will not be available for them. “Not all titles or every season of TV shows are available with spatial audio. For a list of compatible titles, enter “Spatial Audio” in the Netflix search bar. Unsupported titles will play using standard stereo audio,” reads the Netflix press release.
In a market with competitive prices, Netflix plans might be too expensive for some users. Hence, to gather more subscribers and increase its viewer base, Netflix has deiced to release ad-supported plans. In an interview conducted at the Cannes Lions festival, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos mentioned that ad-supported plans will roll out sooner than expected. If everything goes according to the agenda, the plans will come out by the end of this year.