Thursday, March 26, 2009

Netflix Launches New Personalization Features

Hi, this is Todd Yellin, Director of Product Management at Netflix. We are rolling out several features to delight our members with a more personalized website that puts an emphasis on movie discovery. Some of you have already enjoyed the new experience; we expect all members to have it within the next week.

As we do with all new features, we will rapidly iterate and improve on what we launch—particularly on the ability to mix and match categories to improve on the personalized genres we offer. Any feedback you have is appreciated as we strive to perfect and expand these features.

The features include:

Taste Preferences: The ability to set taste preferences across a variety of moods (e.g. feel-good, dark, goofy, gritty, etc.); storylines (e.g. courtroom, dinosaurs, mid-life crisis, etc.); qualities (e.g. critically-acclaimed, visually-striking, etc.); and other category types, on a new, easier, three button system.

More Personalized Homepages: New site and watch instantly homepages that reflect both a member’s expressed taste preferences and recent activity (rentals, instant watching, queue adds and ratings). This results in a regularly refreshed set of personalized genres that combine various categories a user has shown an interest in (e.g. Feel-good Romantic Comedies, Biographical Sports Dramas, Critically-acclaimed Crime Thrillers, etc.). These are chosen for each member from thousands of possibilities.

Some of the rows will be based on what the member explicitly sets. Others will be based on a member’s recent activity.

Customized Browsing: When members click on any of their specially chosen personalized genres they’ll not only see relevant movies/TV shows, but also a way to mix and match other categories to create new combinations. Members find this to be a particularly good way to explore titles that are available to watch instantly.

Please comment on what you find helpful and suggest possible areas of improvement so we can continue to take personalized movie discovery to the next level for you.