This just in… Netflix is finally adding “profiles” to your accounts. I’ve always felt this was the Achilles Heel in the Netflix algorithm. I talked about the issue in my February blog How Algorithms Influence the Movies and Music we Consume:
“The problem I encounter with Netflix is that it is unaware who is viewing the recommendations and that it is used by multiple users. So, in my case Breaking Bad shows up next to My Little Pony. The algorithm is all messed up by the fact that both shows are viewed on Netflix. Consequently, I rarely get a great recommendation.”
Netflix has responded. You will now have the ability to have up to five personalized accounts. They could be for different family member or just for your different personalities. I immediately logged into my account (after finally remembering my password, which took awhile), and the feature was not yet available as of today—August 1. Netflix, however, has announced that it is rolling out this feature and, according to cyberspace, some already have it.
With this upgraded feature and some really well produced shows, it seems as if Netflix is stepping up their game. Between House of Cards and Arrested Development, they received 12 Emmy nominations. It doesn’t end there. With the release of Hemlock Grove and Orange is the New Black audiences are finding quality viewing on their streaming player. And for all this, they’re paying only $7.99 a month.
Will they continue to grow into a powerhouse producing company? Not according to CED Reed Hastings. He says that Netflix is “fundamentally in the membership happiness business, as opposed to in the TV show business.” Today, streaming subscribers now number about 30 million in the U.S., up from 29.2 million, and 36.3 million globally per USA Today.
I don’t think Netflix is done growing. I bet they have a few more tricks up their sleeves. This “bowl” of shows and movies has really become a resource in my household, and I’m betting we’re not the only ones. My kids don’t tune into the Disney channel or The Cartoon Network, they ask if they can watch Netflix. This is an entirely new upcoming generation of viewers. Netflix didn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s just replaying it for future generations, and now they’ll be doing it better while they add great original programming to the mix.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is project manager/designer for Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.