Monday, September 21, 2009

Netflix Prize: $1 Million Paid, Another Million Now Up For Grabs

After nearly three years and efforts by more than 51,000 people worldwide, Netflix today awarded the Netflix Prize and $1 million to a team of seven engineers, statisticians and researchers from Austria, Canada, Israel and the U.S.

The team "BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos" leaderboard met face-to-face for the first time this morning before a news conference at which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt named them winners, draped Olympic-size "gold" medals around their necks and handed them a check for $1 million. Their collaborative entry had taken place entirely over the net.

Moments later Neil announced details about Netflix Prize 2.

The contest ended in July with moments of real drama. Engineers at Netflix watched in amazement as the contest came down to the last few minutes when the winning team just edged out "The Ensemble," many of whose members were present at the New York award ceremony.

Netflix Prizemasters Stan Lanning and Jon Sanders have been extremely pleased how participants openly offered advice, information, ideas, and even libraries of code on the Prize Forum pages. The final result is a benefit to Netflix members as the movie predictions we make for you will be twice as good as before.

While the final curtain has come down on the Prize, Neil lifted the curtain a bit on the upcoming new Netflix Prize 2 contest. It will focus more on helping customers early in their experience with Netflix, drawing on many more sources of data to try to find just the right movies.

For more information on the winning entry for the original Prize and the new Netflix Prize 2 contest check out http://www.netflixprize.com.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Concert, Screenings and Free Streaming … Oh, My! Celebrate a Cinematic Classic with Netflix

Catherine Fisher from the Netflix communications team here. It’s been 70 years since Dorothy clicked her heels together and reminded us that there’s no place like home. To help celebrate, Netflix is inviting all of America to instantly watch “The Wizard of Oz” for free online at www.netflix.com/wizardofoz for 24 hours beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, October 3rd through 9:00 a.m. Eastern the following day. If you are a Netflix member and have a Netflix ready device you will be able to instantly watch the film in HD – watch out for the flying monkeys! This will be the first time that a movie of this stature will be streamed uninterrupted and for free over the Internet. You can RSVP to our event on Facebook to receive a reminder.

Netflix will also host a free, live concert and outdoor movie screening on Tuesday, September 29th, in New York City’s Central Park at Rumsey Playfield. The concert will feature songs from “The Wizard of Oz” performed by Jennifer Hudson, Julianne Hough and ?uestlove. Following the concert, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., the movie will be shown on a giant inflatable screen.

For more information on the 70th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” and how to take advantage of this special streaming offer, visit www.netflix.com/wizardofoz or www.facebook.com/netflix.

We hope you enjoy the movie on October 3rd and that we will see you in NYC for a great concert and screening!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Winner of Netflix FIND Your Voice film competition announced

After nine months of heated competition, 2,000 applications, some extraordinary scripts, tens of thousands of votes from the public, and review by our panel of judges chaired by Josh Brolin, the verdict is in.

We are thrilled to announce that Philip G. Flores of Hemet, CA is the winner of the “Netflix FIND Your Voice” filmmaking competition. Phillip will receive a prize package worth more than $350,000 to make his film “Touchback.” The package also includes a premiere screening of the film at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2010 and distribution on Netflix.

To watch the winning trailer and learn more about the “Netflix FIND Your Voice” film competition, see the official news release or visit www.netflixfindyourvoice.com.

Congratulations, Philip!

Chris Garrity
Netflix communications