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Recommendations and Results Organization in Netflix Search (arxiv.org)
41 points by infodocket 21 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments

I really miss the stars on Netflix. Now I usually open up a browser and look up the movie before I start watching. So sad!

I don't have Nexflix, but I do have Amazon Prime (and an Amazon Fire HD stick), and I love the fact that it shows ratings from both Prime users and IMDB - it would be a major PITA to have to look up everything one-by-one on my phone!

Off the top of my head, I think it shows IMDB ratings for shows from other services too (e.g. Disney+, BBC iPlayer).

IMDB is owned by Amazon. I would assume that's why nobody else has something similar.


I find IMDB ratings are often over inflated, rotten tomatoes ratings are much better but not perfect.

Of course, they don't allow you to filter and/or sort on those ratings. Argh.

I use Trim [1] for Chrome to add ratings in the netflix interface. It also dims recommendations that are below my specified stars. Works really well!

[1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/trim-imdb-ratings-...

nice! Thanks for sharing!

I've always preferred the five-star scale over a simple thumbs-up, down. The stars never went away on the dvd.netflix.com interface (I still have a disc plan along with streaming). I think the red stars for movies/shows I haven't rated reflect Netflix's guess for how I'll rate them but further down there's small print that shows Neflix's guess numerically and the numeric average rating for all users.

I don't miss that. I'd rather watch the first 5 minutes of a movie and see if it's for me. If I see 3 stars I will automatically not want to watch it but I may enjoy such a movie or TV show.

I read just the abstract and I hate it. Nowadays you cannot really use search functionality on sites to find what you actually want anymore.

Lots of bad recommendation systems out there, to be sure, but Netflix's strikes me as one of the better (best?) implementations. If I search for a particular title, it's usually at the top (or close to, with fuzzier search terms), whereas when they don't have what I'm looking for (happens a lot, their library is pretty small where I live) their recommendations are at least pretty similar to what I'm looking for. Compared to comparable solutions with dumb search, it's a much better experience.

But I agree insofar as botched recommenders that you can't circumvent easily are the absolute worst UX.

I heavily agree. On both Netflix and Hulu, I frequently find exactly what I’m looking for. Even better, Hulu will sometimes tell me that they don’t have the item I’m looking for. It’s insane to me that they include items they don’t have in their DB just to enhance the search experience.

Explicitly giving the user feedback about items currently missing from their catalog is ingenious. Whenever I search for something that's not on a given streaming platform, the slew of data-driven recommendations of other things that are similar yet still absolutely not what I was looking for amplifies my disappointment. Just give it to me straight, CraveFlixPlus Prime Video Max!

> Hulu will sometimes tell me that they don’t have the item I’m looking for

Netflix does this too (or did? it's been awhile). It's one of those tiny little details that really makes a difference.

Not in my experience (on mobile app). It just alludes to that fact by suggesting shows that are very close to the thing you were searching for, but the thing that you did actually search for is conspicuously missing from the results list.

Exactly. Its like they're saying: We don't have what you want, but here's something that's close enough. Be happy.

There doesn't appear to be any details on the success of their implementation or how they implemented it. This paper effectively says "here are the challenges, we solved them".

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