Once upon a time, mixtapes were all the rage. You'd take your favorite songs and copy them to a blank cassette, and if you were feeling really adventurous you might even make your own custom mixes through careful use of the pause button on the tape recorder. Mixtapes eventually gave way to burned CDs and eventually digital playlists, which are much more efficient but not quite as fun to pass around to your friends.
Now, Netflix is trying to bring the fun back to playlists with "Flixtapes". These customizable playlists let you share your favorite shows on the service, but also give you a bit of control over how those playlists are presented in a modern take on classic mixtape style.
Flixtapes allow users to either create their own playlist or select a premade one. There are a number of different premade selections, but most people will want to create their own if they plan on sharing them. You'll start by giving your Flixtape a name, which will then be used to offer up some suggestions. You can customize the list, searching for specific titles or searching by genre. Once you have your list complete, you can customize the look of it a bit by adjusting the '80s-esque scribbles that appear around the Flixtape cover. When everything's complete, you can share your Flixtape on Facebook or Twitter and can also generate a link that you can share with friends directly.
There are a few limitations to this, of course. The options presented when searching by genre aren't always what you're looking for, and there are a limited number of suggestions given with each search. If you don't already know what you're looking for then it might take you a while to finish up your playlist. You also can't add single episodes of TV shows to fit in with your theme; you're sharing full shows and movies, so you may have to pick carefully if you're trying to go for a specific theme. Even with these restrictions, though, making a Flixtape can be kind of fun.
Admittedly, the concept of a Flixtape is kind of cheesy... but it's supposed to be. The video, the website design... it's all trying to capture the fun of making a mixtape, while also making fun of the process. It's unlikely that Netflix expects Flixtapes to become a major part of the company's marketing, but there's a good chance that you'll start seeing a few on social media as people try it out. Even if it's only a passing fad, Flixtapes will have served their purpose: Exposing people to different shows and movies, including Netflix originals like Orange is the New Black or Stranger Things.
Right now, some people are thinking about how dumb of an idea this is... and some are wanting to try it out for themselves. If you're interested in making your own Flixtape, you can head to https://flixtape.netflix.com and give it a go yourself.