Five years after Netflix nuked titled sequences, its infamous button is now pressed 136m times a day. What are viewers missing? The whole point, say top composers, including Succession’s Nicholas Britell

Nicholas Britell is the composer of the definitive TV theme tune of the 21st century. The New Yorker’s dizzyingly hypnotic title music to HBO’s splenetic family saga Succession has been described as sounding like “a smashed music box”. When Britell first played it to Jesse Armstrong, the showrunner of the hit TV series greeted it with the words: “Fuck, yeah!”

Yet there’s one thing that annoys softly spoken Britell: the “Skip intro” facility on streaming services, which was brought in five years ago and lets viewers bypass a show’s opening credits. “I am very against it,” says Britell. “TV theme music is incredibly important. It’s almost a show’s DNA identifier. It serves as an overture to bring you in and sets the tone. I think that formal entrée is crucial.”

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