5:15 pm

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
Netflix rolls out new tool to profile viewers
August 02, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix is introducing a long-awaited feature that will make it easier for the Internet video service to track and analyze the viewing habits of people sharing the same $8-per-month account.

The tool coming out Thursday can splinter a single Netflix account into up to five different profiles at no additional charge. The Los Gatos, Calif., company is hoping its 37.6 million worldwide subscribers will use the profiles feature because it will help Netflix’s recommendation system gain a better understanding of the different tastes of viewers using the same account.

The feature initially will only be available on Netflix’s own website and several other viewing outlets, including the iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Apple TV and some smart TV models. It may take up to two weeks before the profiles choice pops up in these options. Profiles should be available on the Wii console before the end of August and on Android devices before the end of the year. Netflix subscribers who use Netflix on Roku’s set-top box probably won’t be able to use profiles on that device until early next year.

Until now, deciphering the preferences in large households could be tricky because Netflix’s system couldn’t distinguish between when a 50-year-old dad was watching its Internet video service and when his 10-year-old girl might be viewing under the same account.

“If the kids have been watching a lot of ‘Shaun the Sheep,’ that doesn’t particularly help us help you find the next gritty drama to watch after they have gone to bed,” said Neil Hunt, Netflix’s chief product officer.

Profiles will now make it possible for several members of the same household to click on their screen name to get customized recommendations, based on what they have previously watched and seemed to enjoy in Netflix’s library of movies, old TV shows and original programs. Netflix relies on viewers’ own ratings of video, as well as computer-driven analyses of the genres previously watched.

Netflix Inc. considers its recommendation system to be one of its biggest advantages over rival Internet video services run by Amazon.com Inc., Hulu.com and Redbox. As long as Netflix keeps steering its subscribers to videos that they like, the company figures customers will be less likely to cancel the service.

Even though it’s often analyzed a jumbled mix of viewers, Netflix’s recommendation system apparently is hitting a sweet spot more often than not. The company says about three-fourths of the video watching on its service is driven by its recommendations.

The new profiles can also be used to link to each user’s Facebook account. That connection allows Netflix members see what the other people in their online social network have been watching on Netflix, too.



Tags: netflix, profiles, netflix, account, video, watching,

Other stories from today:


Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
Do you agree with Gov. Brown signing The End of Life Option Act, which allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with the help of a doctor?

Yes, it will allow those with terminal conditions to die with dignity
No, doctors are sometimes too hasty in determining someone is terminally ill
Not sure


Redwood City officials report hospital wing lost water due to broken main
A water main break in Redwood City is affecting part of a nearby hospital, a city spokeswoman said ..
California governor OKs expansive new equal pay protections
SACRAMENTO — Female workers in California are getting new tools to challenge gender-based wage gap..
Phone scam making the rounds in San Mateo County
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to beware of a telephone scam involving a..
IMF downgrades forecast for world, emerging market economies
LIMA, Peru — China's slowdown and tumbling commodity prices will push global economic growth this ..
Top general in Afghanistan: US strike on hospital a mistake
WASHINGTON — The deadly American attack on a hospital in northern Afghanistan occurred despite "ri..
More >>  

©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County advertising