A report from Vulture last week went behind the scenes to reveal some of the details behind the top ten list and recommendation engine. Some points I think are particularly interesting:
Netflix has been exploring how to make their UI more objective. That's largely where the idea for the "Top 10" came from.
The Top 10 rankings you see when you log on to Netflix aren't based on average audience size for a given title. Instead, it's based on how many people watch at least 2 minutes of a given title.
Lots of the categories and content rows that seem objective are actually personalized.
The recommendation engine doesn't just try to figure out what you're likely to watch, it filters from that to promote what's most popular in general on the service that you're most likely to watch.
Netflix seems to have come around to the concept that keeping people locked into their service isn't about just figuring out what people like. It's about tapping into the cultural zeitgeist and linking what people like with what the culture at large is interested in at a particular point in time. It's a good insight. If we think about how we figure out what content to consume, it's usually word-of-mouth - the things we talk about in casual conversation. That's hard to recreate on platforms like Netflix that (thankfully) doesn't have built in social interaction so instead they use aggregate viewership data + the personalization algorithm to recreate that dynamic. Does it work? It mostly gets there...though I think they aggregate the numbers in a way that promotes Netflix's content more.
In any case, isn't it interesting how much technical and social engineering goes into these platforms to get us to keep watching?
Here are the best new movies available this week on streaming video
Army of the Dead (2021)
Available Friday, May 21 on Netflix
Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.
Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe now for free to get the best streaming movie recommendations every week.
Do you like the recommendations? Don’t keep it to yourself, share it with a friend!
Other movies available this week
Sardar Ka Grandson (2021)
The Last Days (1998)
Small Town Crime (2018)
Hating Peter Tatchell (2020)
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011)
Red Dawn (2012)
Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast (2015)
Amazon Prime Video
Red Dawn (2012)
American Dreamz (2006)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
If you’ve made it this far, share this newsletter with a friend. It’s how I evaluate if this newsletter is valuable and something I should continue.
Smash this subscribe button to get his list in your inbox every week.
Be sure to share Streamfunc with a movie lover you know!
Want to have a great experience watching movies at home? Watch this!