Netflix greatly increased the amount of its most-popular content with support for spatial audio, which lets the tv shows and films offer a surround sound-like experience but without all the speakers.
But the enhanced sound is not for every subscriber. The streaming service is using spatial audio as a way to tempt viewers to its Premium plan.
Enjoy Knives Out: Glass Onion in spatial audio on Netflix
Spatial audio provides a more immersive viewing experience for TV shows and movies. The audio is subtly modified so that it seems to come from all around the viewer — and even from above.
Netflix starting supporting the audio witchery in summer 2022, and on Wednesday announced an expansion. It’s now available on 700 of of the streaming service’s most-popular watched titles, including Stranger Things, The Watcher, Wednesday and Knives Out: Glass Onion. And that’s only the start.
“We’ll also be adding spatial audio to popular new titles as they’re released, including You, Your Place or Mine, Luther: The Fallen Sun, and Tour de France,” promised Rishu Arora, Netflix Director of Product Management, in a statement.
A Premium feature
The streaming service is reserving spatial audio for those who pay for a Premium plan. As Arora puts, it, “With Netflix spatial audio, our members with Premium will enjoy the highest quality sound experience available, whether they are watching at home on TV or a computer, or on the go with a phone or tablet.”
The Premium plan costs $19.99 per month, and also comes with 4K video. For comparison, the Standard plan is $15.49 per month and tops out with 1080p video.
Note: Previously, this article mistakenly said Netflix was using Apple’s version of spatial audio. The streaming service is instead using its own version.