Netflix Inc. is looking to change the way it suggests recommendations for its global audience. Before the company began producing its own original content, its focus was on the recommendation software, which used to show which suggest TV shows or movies customers should watch considering their taste. It spent a lot of time and money in designing and developing algorithms, which would not only learn viewers’ taste but will recommend the matching title from its catalogue.
Previously, Netflix’s major attention was towards its rapid global expansion plans, original programming, and award nominations and winning. After a very long time, the streaming giant’s recommendation has made it to the news while making itself the center of attention. Netflix has brought in a major change in its algorithm as it previously the recommendations, which the viewers could see were only based on the locations you lived in. According to this change, the viewers in the United States were seeing suggestions for different action of chick flick movies because of the people in North America who enjoyed similar content.
Furthermore, if there is an anime fan who lives in Sweden can possibly get recommendations which be based on the viewing habits of other fans of the same genre across the globe. This principle will be applied to all other categories and genres. On the front end, this seems as a minor change and the users might not give much attention to it but it actually is a ‘precarious’ shift for the technology which Netflix has not emphasized on for a while now. This particular technology had a team of 70 engineers to design and develop an algorithm for recommendations.
The vice president of product innovation at Netflix, Carlos Gomez Uribe, said in a statement, “We were very worried that running the algorithms we knew worked well when we pulled data from a single country and a single catalog, if we tried across places where the catalog differed, the recommendations would be pretty bad.”
The regional approached which is being used by Netflix is similar to using a stopgap solution that will stop the local catalog differences from coming up with the recommendation algorithm.
A group of Netflix engineers that are behind the design of these algorithms explained the concept behind how these recommendations work. The explanation was published in a blog which stated that first, the content of one region is not same to that of the other region. The Matrix movie might available for the streaming subscribers in the United States but not in France. Similarly, content might be for France but not the United States.