Wired has an article up called The Science Behind the Netflix Algorithms That Decide What You’ll Watch Next, which is actually an interview with Xavier Amatriain, the engineering director at the site, and Carlos Gomez–Uribe, VP of product innovation and personalization algorithms. It’s a cool article, even though I rarely ever heed the advice of Netflix. It could be that I have no life, and I already basically know exactly what they’re going to recommend to me, because it seems to me that they more or less suggest the same programming day in and day out. And if I didn’t want to see Flypaper with Patrick Dempsey today I probably won’t want to see it tomorrow or three weeks from now.
If you’re anything like me, then you rely on a combination of instantwatcher.com and your own fingers. Which is to say, I look around the internet for blog posts about movies I haven’t seen and Netflix doesn’t promote the hell out of, but are there, nonetheless — unseen and lurking in some obscure corner of its site.
Elsewhere in Netflix news…
Cablevision prez James Dolan who regularly draws the ire of Knicks fans over his office leadership of that team, is now predicting the end of cable TV. Mostly, anyway. Says Nolan to the Wall Street Journal:
“Ultimately over the long term I think that the whole video product is eventually going to go to the Internet,” he said. “I’m not willing to cede that position now, and I’ve got a lot of customers that buy my video product…[but] the handwriting is on the wall, particularly when you look at young customers,” who get a lot of programs through Netflix or Amazon.
Yikes. He also told the press recently that he rarely watches actual TV, that much of his time with his family is spent streaming on Netflix, and he hinted that he might take cablevision online one of these days. Ohhh — Netflix is quakin in its boots, now, James.
And finally our last piece of news…
Netflix seems to have signed on to produce a new drama about Marco Polo, which was supposed to be a Starz project. Plus, Ricky Gervais is giving sole programming rights of his new show Derrick to Netflix. Well not sole rights, the show which is being called a “Netflix Original Series” actually already appeared in Britain. But honestly, if it hasn’t shown here in America, well then, did it ever really screen then?
The show, streaming September 12, is about a guy named George — kidding — Derrick — who runs an assisted living home for old folks. Gervais is the lead, and the tone of the show is lighter than his previous work (The Office, Extras). The trailer made me laugh out loud three times or so, so that’s pretty good for a little more than a minute and half’s time.