NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix wants subscribers to know it’s looking out for them.
For instance, the average Netflix subscriber might never guess that its dark superhero drama “Jessica Jones” might strike similar chords as the zany hijinks of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Netflix is happy to help you make the connection.
Much of the attention showered on this streaming-video giant in recent years has dwelled on its insatiable appetite for original content and for creators to produce it.
“We want to appeal to as many different people as possible, and appeal to the many moods that each person has,” says vice president of product innovation Todd Yellin. “The more diverse our content, the more likely that someone, at their moment of truth about what they’re going to watch, will choose to go to Netflix.”
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But this service’s multibillion-dollar annual outlay for new programming necessitates another challenge: helping each program get discovered by the subscribers most likely to enjoy it. Four out of five of the shows watched on Netflix were found by its subscribers thanks to recommendations offered them, Netflix says.
Those suggested new favorites are much more customized for each subscriber than might be evident from a glance at the Netflix home page.
Most every row of program suggestions (even generic-seeming categories like “Comedies” and “Dramas”) is tailored for each subscriber, Yellin says.
And how the rows are arranged vertically on the home page is a function of the subscriber’s demonstrated genre preferences.
“You might have ‘Comedies’ as your fifth row,” says Yellin, “and for another person it might be 25th. And someone else might not get a comedy row at all.”
So your Netflix is different from everybody else’s. But where do these tips come from?
“It’s very important that the titles most relevant to each person bubble…