Friday, June 28, 2013

Let "Max" Be Your Netflix Guide On PS3

Today we started rolling out Max, a new experience on PlayStation 3 that helps you find something great to watch in a fun, conversational way. You'll find Max on the third or fourth row of the main Netflix screen on your PS3, where Max beckons you to enter his world with one of his many funny call outs. Click on the row and you’ll engage Max's services.

Max, rumored to be the child of Siri and HAL 9000, asks a few questions about your mood or movie and TV show tastes to arrive at a suggestion, of course based on your tastes and taking advantage of the Netflix algorithms that predict what you'd enjoy watching. One of the experiences Max offers is called the "ratings game," where you pick a genre to fit your mood and then rate a few titles on the familiar Netflix five star scale.

Sometimes, when Max feels particularly confident, he will offer a fun, personalized suggestion after asking only one simple question. Here Max asks you to pick between two highly specific genres that are personalized and use the very detailed tags we have on all of the shows and movies that are available on Netflix.

Other times, when intoxicated by past success, Max will get a little cocky and offer a suggestion right away, no questions required. The catch...this is a mystery suggestion and you’ll just have to press play and trust him.

If you can't wait to get to your PS3 to see Max in action, here's my colleague Pedro Freitas with a brief demo video.

These are three of the ways Max will offer you a suggestion. More and more U.S. Netflix members will get this experience during the upcoming weeks. If Max performs at the level he promises, we’ll expand his repertoire and make him available on other devices in the future, likely the iPad next. If you're outside the U.S., sorry Max will be available to our U.S. members only for now.

Please welcome Max and let us know if he misbehaves and fails to demonstrate the A-level performance we demand at Netflix.


Todd Yellin is vice president of product innovation at Netflix

Monday, June 10, 2013

Netflix ISP Speed Index for May

We just added May data to the “Netflix ISP Speed Index,” providing an updated look at which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the best Netflix streaming experience.

A few data points from the new Netflix ISP Speed Index, reflecting data for May:
  • U.S.: The top rankings remain unchanged, but the top five ISPs all delivered slightly faster averages. Optimum continues to provide the best Netflix experience of any large ISP, followed by COX. 
  • U.K: No change in rankings with Virgin holding on to its top position. All ISPs in the UK delivered improvements in speed in May compared to April. 
  • Ireland: UPC dropped three spots to No. 4 while Magnet maintains its No. 1 slot and continues to be the ISP with the best Netflix performance. Runner Digiweb, Eircom and Vodafone showed slight speed increases. 
  • Nordics: Average speeds went up for each country. The Nordics continue to have the fastest ISPs, led by Ownit in Sweden. In Norway Altibox jumped back to the No. 1 slot 
  • Mexico: Speeds increased for the top three providers, giving Netflix members who use those ISPs a better experience.

Located at the Netflix ISP Speed Index provides an easy overview of the performance of ISPs in several of the countries Netflix is available in. Updated on a monthly basis, the site allows for easy comparison of ISPs in a country as well as international comparisons.

The Netflix ISP Speed Index is based on data from the more than 36 million Netflix members who view over 1 billion hours of TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix per month. The listed speeds reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISP's network and are an indicator of the performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network.

Note: the average performance is below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes Netflix uses to deliver the TV shows and movies as well as the variety of devices members use and home network conditions. These factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs.


Joris Evers is director of corporate communications at Netflix