Here’s more evidence that Netflix is slowly chipping away at traditional TV viewing. According to a public Facebook post by CEO Reed Hastings, Netflix subscribers watched a total of 1 billion hours of video for the first time in June. Do a little back-of-the-envelope math, and that comes out to more than an hour of video per subscriber each day.
Considering the average viewer in the U.S. watches about five hours of TV a day, that’s a huge number worth watching. After all, there are only so many hours in a day, and if a Netflix subscriber is tuning in to an hour of video on the service, that likely means one less hour of actual live TV he or she is watching.
Via – TechCrunch
The era of on-demand TV is slowly approaching…when will the hours watched of on-demand TV match that of live TV?
Netflix awarded a $1 million prize to a developer team in 2009 for an algorithm that increased the accuracy of the company’s recommendation engine by 10 percent. But today it doesn’t use the million-dollar code, and has no plans to implement it in the future, Netflix announced on its blog Friday.
The post goes on to explain why: a combination of too much engineering effort for the results, and a shift from movie recommendations to the “next level” of personalization caused by the transition of the business from mailed DVDs to video streaming.
Netflix notes that it does still use two algorithms from the team that won the first Progress Prize for an 8.43 percent improvement.
via ars technica
It turns out that all the prize-winning work was perfect for DVD-by-mail where users add something to their queue and, best-case scenario, receive it the following day. But, now that instant streaming is taking over the parameters have changed. Viewers want something to watch immediately and like the option of flipping between several options.
That is why the Netflix updated all of its interfaces to show rows of movies giving you many, many options. It’s a subtle shift from finding the one movie you will love two days from now, to showing all the possible movies you might want to watch right now.
I guess that is the simplest way to put it, but if you want to know more the Netflix personalization science and engineering team, Xavier Amatriain and Justin Basilico, posted a lengthy and detailed, but interesting write-up, Beyond the 5 stars.
WhichFlicks is a website that allows you to sort through thousands of movies and television shows on Netflix. With that many options there is always something to watch the trouble is finding it.
With this website you have the ability to sort by Netflix Stars, Rotten Tomato Ratings, date, genre, audience (MPAA rating), and by people (actors, directors).
It is a far superior way to find something to watch, compared to the native Netflix search and recommendation system. It compares very well to Instant Watcher, a site that provides a similar service. Which Flicks is definitely easier and cleaner to use, while Instant Watcher has many more lists and details.
The best unique feature in Which Flicks is the “Upcoming” movies section. I really enjoy this section because Netflix doesn’t often promote its future content.
Instant Watcher is the perfect site for Netflix Instant users. You can quickly and easily find movies to watch and avoid the miserable search and click on Netflix’s own site.
“About a quadrillion times easier to browse than Netflix’s own site” — Boing Boing Offworld, Feb 6, 2009
Within a few clicks you can figure out how everything works, including my favorites: highest rated movies of 2010-2011, highest rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes, and the simple most popular streamed movies.
There is also the opportunity to view those movies expiring soon.
Finally, a critical part of the browsing experience is the pop-up that appears when you roll over a movie title. This gives you a picture and a synopsis without having to click a link and leave your list.
“A great example of the amazing things which can be built when a company offers up an API for use by third-party developers.” — Read Write Web / The New York Times, Jan 28, 2009
Once you visit and browse around you will never think about Netflix the same way again.