What the heck is a Netflix patch? Now we know… kinda.

By Nick Romano
March 10, 2018 at 01:27 PM EST
Joseph Lederer/Netflix

What is a Netflix “patch”? Select streaming subscribers have been asking themselves this question in the past few weeks, as Netflix has been quickly testing out this new system on a pool of younger viewers.

Patches appear to be a form of badges users can collect by binge-watching their favorite shows. A spokesperson for Netflix confirmed the new function in a statement to Variety.

“We are testing a new feature on select kids titles that introduces collectible items for a more interactive experience, adding an element of fun and providing kids something to talk about and share around the titles they love,” the statement reads. “We learn by testing and this feature may or may not become part of the Netflix experience.”

Users have posted images of the patches from their Netflix homepage. The patch appears as a red lock symbol on the top corner of select television shows, like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Trolls, and Fuller House. The question now becomes about what you get when you collect all the patches because it appears the only prizes are the badges themselves.

“What the heck are #Netflix patches?!” one user tweeted in February.

Not all reactions to the patches have been positive, as one user became concerned over the amount of binge-watching they promote for his child. Another remarked it worked to get her family to watch all episodes of Trolls.

No doubt this will also have an impact on binge-watching’s latest evolution, binge-racing.