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Why Netflix changed its algorithm to track the shows you're actually watching

Why Netflix changed its algorithm to track the shows you're actually watching
From CBC - April 16, 2018

The CEO of Netflix has offered insight into how the online streaming service arrives at the suggestions it makes to users about what shows and movies to watch.

During a question-and-answer session Saturday morning at the TED conference, Reed Hastings, theco-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix, talked about running the multi-billion dollar company.

Sitting onstage with lead TED curator Chris Anderson,Hastings providedthis description of Netflix's programming strategy:

"We have some candy," Hastings said."But we have lots of broccoli, and if you have a good mix you get to a healthy diet."

A few years ago, the company changed thealgorithm thatrecommends shows and movies for its users.

Previously, the algorithmreliedmore on what users disclosed about their programming preferences of Netflix selections. In other words,what users said they liked.

Now, it depends more on what users actually watch.

"What happens is, when we rate, we are meta-cognitive about qualitythat's sort of our aspirational self," he said.

"It works out much better, to please people, to look at the actual choices that they make."

'It's not enough'

Anderson asked Hastings if changing the algorithm had the potential to createa feedback loop of increasingly low-brow content.

Growing competition

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