How Netflix Recommendations Work

HardOCP News

[H] News
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
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Ever wonder how Netflix comes up with those totally random movie suggestions that you'd never watch in a million years? Apparently there is some sort of system to selecting all those oddball movies they recommend to you. Whodathunkit?

Our business objective is to maximize member satisfaction and month-to-month subscription retention, which correlates well with maximizing consumption of video content. We therefore optimize our algorithms to give the highest scores to titles that a member is most likely to play and enjoy.

My suggestion to Netflix, freshen up that stale movie collection by adding more (current) movies more often.
 

Perm

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
82
Your strategy and suggestions are brilliant! I bet Netflix never considered that.

...or the content houses are infighting and will never allow something as convenient and practical as Netflix have access to everything.
 

SXO

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
342
The selection is fine if you use disc rental, although you have to wait a few months for new releases.
 

LordCalin

Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
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901
I know a dozen households personally that have gone netflix only* and killed the cable / satellite bill. Only one has kids in the house, and 3/4 of them made the cut over a year ago... so obviously there must be some kinda content to be watching.

* They do also buy / watch tv show series on dvd when they find one for really really cheap.
 

wtiger

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2004
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1,600
The biggest problem is content for the streaming service. The studios need to enter the 21st century and quit roadblocking companies like netflix from new/more content. I'd gladly pay 2-3x more for their streaming service. As is, I quite my subscription over a year ago from lack of new/good streaming content. The sad thing is that it's not Netflix' fault.
 

J W

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
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I dropped instant a while ago. Disc-only is awesome, and it's going to suck royally whenever they stop their disc service or whenever the PO starts slowing it down.
 

MrCaffeineX

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
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The selection is fine if you use disc rental, although you have to wait a few months for new releases.

Wasn't this also part of the new agreement with movie studios? I thought I read somewhere that Netflix had to agree to delay DVD shipments of new releases in order to gain expanded access to back-content for their streaming service. On-demand streaming has been and continues to be the best way to consume media, in my opinion.

I wish the studios would get on board with the streaming service(s) for new releases, but it looks like that is not where they want to go. Perhaps some profitability studies comparing smaller revenues per streaming user vs larger revenues per physical media purchaser (which I believe is how they see it currently) would clarify their positions to us? How many streaming users at a smaller revenue per user would be necessary to make physical media's larger revenues per user seem less appealing, therefore increasing the opportunity for the expansion of streaming services?
 

FrEaKy

[H] Movie and TV Show Review Guy
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
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13,717
I know a dozen households personally that have gone netflix only* and killed the cable / satellite bill. Only one has kids in the house, and 3/4 of them made the cut over a year ago... so obviously there must be some kinda content to be watching.

* They do also buy / watch tv show series on dvd when they find one for really really cheap.

I have Netflix, cause alot of content my son watches (Bob the Builder, Thomas the Train). I also have a Amazon Prime account which I use for some streaming too, but I use amazon's rental service for movies alot, and when I find one I like, I go out and get the blu-ray/dvd combo of it.

Netflix is losing content it seems, while Prime is gaining content at least.
 

kidstechno

Gawd
Joined
Dec 14, 2005
Messages
580
I've had Netflix for quite a while but I don't think I've ever watched something they "recommended". Either I've already seen it or it's some obscure film/TV series I'm not interested in.

Although my tastes vary widely day to day. I really wanted to watch a Martial/Arts Kung Fu flick the other night and they didn't really have a category for it. Plus they lack older, classic movies that aren't so main stream. Granted, I can understand this but based on the amount of random crap they already have on there, where's the love?
 

J W

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
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I once watched the classic movie Pyaar Impossible! based on a Netflix recommendation. There had so be some mistake with that.

Not a bad movie if you're into cutting your own wrists.
 

az_max

Gawd
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
651
My dad had a great suggestion for Netflix: Offer a check box on the site that the movie has already been seen by the viewer, and automatically check the box for movies previously viewed through Netflix. My parents are in their 80's and often don't realize they've seen a movie until it's delivered (by mail) and they've started to watch it.
 

SXO

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
342
My dad had a great suggestion for Netflix: Offer a check box on the site that the movie has already been seen by the viewer, and automatically check the box for movies previously viewed through Netflix. My parents are in their 80's and often don't realize they've seen a movie until it's delivered (by mail) and they've started to watch it.

Just give it a few more years and they won't remember if they saw the movie before or not. :p
 

xxEIEIOxx

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
2,276
Our business objective is to maximize member satisfaction and month-to-month subscription retention...

Funny, I cancelled them after the price increase and they haven't done a single thing to try to win back my business. The bad thing is that if they offered me any incentive at all, I would likely come back.
 

dandirk

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
1,831
Yeah I never understood how they created those lists...

To this day, the "New Releases" list bugs me to no end... I see new titles from 3rd party sites that were added, which day etc.. Yet my New Releases list changes waaaay less frequently.

This has bugged me since before streaming. For a while I would go through the new release section to see if movies that I wanted to watch finally came out on DVD... Many times seeing it on a list would remind me I wanted to watch it lol... Well with netflix that didn't work too well. Never would see them, yet see commercials for DVD on sale (this was before the 30 day deal)...

Do a text search and there is was... Never understood why New Release hardly ever showed New Release and at times I would notice titles that have been on there for AGES...
 

travanx

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2000
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1,579
Never used netflix, but they don't already have this option???? You are telling me IMDB is more advanced?

My dad had a great suggestion for Netflix: Offer a check box on the site that the movie has already been seen by the viewer, and automatically check the box for movies previously viewed through Netflix. My parents are in their 80's and often don't realize they've seen a movie until it's delivered (by mail) and they've started to watch it.
 

FndTheRver

Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
626
The biggest problem is content for the streaming service. The studios need to enter the 21st century and quit roadblocking companies like netflix from new/more content. I'd gladly pay 2-3x more for their streaming service. As is, I quite my subscription over a year ago from lack of new/good streaming content. The sad thing is that it's not Netflix' fault.

No studio or network wants to give up their cash cow of selling advertising or broadcast rights. The only way that keeps up is if joe consumer puts out $100 bucks a month for a TV connection. In business terms, why fix what ain't broke.

<soapbox>
The only way I see this changing is if people leave the cable/satellite companies en mass. It might be a little rocky at first, because no one knows where they'll immediately be able to get their fix. Solidarity! Change is messy but worthwhile.
</soapbox>
 

theDreamer

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
2,513
My dad had a great suggestion for Netflix: Offer a check box on the site that the movie has already been seen by the viewer, and automatically check the box for movies previously viewed through Netflix. My parents are in their 80's and often don't realize they've seen a movie until it's delivered (by mail) and they've started to watch it.

They have that, go to DVD then select a category and then click 'See all -genre-' and on the upper right below the search box is a check box that says, show rated/seen titles. I never see movies I have viewed or rated unless I am searching for something.
 

HeavensCloud

Oswego, not shitty as Buffalo
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
7,469
I dropped cable for Netflix and an indoor satellite receiver last year sometime, no complaints. I never was a big TV watcher though. The 3 year old has a billion shows she can watch and doesn't miss Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at all.

Back on topic - The suggestions for films are pretty dumb. I don't care if it's similar to something else I have watched in the past, most of those independent films are boring and broken. They have a few entertaining ones here and there but most are junk. Their TV show suggestions are much better.
 

Ski

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
1,036
If only Netflix could get access to HBO, their subscriber ship would sky rocket like a mother:

THE WIRE
GAME OF THRONES
ROME
SOPRANO'S
OZ
THE PACIFIC
BAND OF BROTHERS
TRUE BLOOD
GENERATION KILL
ENTOURAGE
JOHN ADAMS
DEADWOOD
BIG LOVE

And that's just off the top of my head.
 

wiseoracle

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 22, 2002
Messages
2,305
My dad had a great suggestion for Netflix: Offer a check box on the site that the movie has already been seen by the viewer, and automatically check the box for movies previously viewed through Netflix. My parents are in their 80's and often don't realize they've seen a movie until it's delivered (by mail) and they've started to watch it.

They actually used to have that feature. When you would login the website, it would hide content you have already watched or checked.

I don't know why they got rid of it, because all I see are movies/shows I have already watched.
 
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