While this is only part one of a two part series, the folks over at the official Netflix Tech Blog have offered up some details on the recommendation system. The explanation thus far is fairly detailed and informative and even dives into the part about how when they say “you” they really mean everyone that is using your account. That said, we suspect many Netflix subscribers are actually sharing their account with their family and in that case the “you” means “household.” Or in my case, the “you” means my (almost) 5 year old daughter. Anyway, without any further adieu on this point — Netflix hinted at some improvements that may help this situation a bit. Coming from the Netflix Blog Post;
“It is important to keep in mind that Netflix’ personalization is intended to handle a household that is likely to have different people with different tastes. That is why when you see your Top10, you are likely to discover items for dad, mom, the kids, or the whole family. Even for a single person household we want to appeal to your range of interests and moods. To achieve this, in many parts of our system we are not only optimizing for accuracy, but also for diversity.”
Other goodies mentioned include how the Netflix recommendation system will change with changing tastes in viewing and how they will provide explanations that show how and why the choose to recommend a certain title to you. In that case, the recommendations come as a result of “your explicit taste preferences and ratings, your viewing history, or even your friends’ recommendations.”
Bottom line here, while probably not perfect for some users and some households — it is refreshing to learn that Netflix appears to be far from done with the recommendation system and that things will likely get better for those with multiple users (and tastes) in a given household. Simply put, we encourage a click and read and look forward to what Netflix has to say in part two of this series.