Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Accurate Star Predictions

Hi, this is Todd Yellin, Director of Product Management, and Jon Sanders, Director of Recommendation Systems, here at Netflix. We’re pleased to announce that we have improved the way we predict the movies you’re going to love. We’ve deployed a new algorithm that allows us to make more accurate guesses at how much our members will enjoy each movie in our the vast Netflix catalog. We are indebted to the Netflix Prize contestants who made these improvements possible, and who continue to innovate in this area. (If you’re not familiar with the Netflix Prize, it’s kind of like “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” for data miners. Read about it here: )

Members who rate movies will now receive better guidance on how many stars they’re likely to give movies they haven’t seen (aka “our best guess for you”). These star predictions influence the movies we feature on many pages of the Netflix website, in particular in the Movies You’ll Love area. For most members the effect of the new algorithm will be subtle, and we hope rewarding. In the coming months we’ll be testing ways to use these improved star predictions so our members can create even more personalized websites that make it faster and easier to explore the more than 100,000 titles available on DVD and Blu-ray disc and the more than 12,000 streaming titles at Netflix.

Enjoy the movies!