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Comments

Scott

re: "With more than 75% of viewing being done through recommendations, it's no wonder Netflix doesn't offer a streaming queue for customers in countries outside of the USA."

I don't understand your point. A streaming queue is simply where you keep a list of things you come across that you may be interested in watching, right? Whether you come across them via recommendations or some other way, why would that affect whether or not it makes sense to offer the feature?

Evie

Just get more movies and tv shows already!
I hate the recommendation setup, it feels
like I have less of a say in what I want to
watch just like when I had a tv. For months
now my homepage is the same old stuff and
its getting old, need a new way for us to
check out what you offer as I watch by my
moods and interest and these can change quite
often. offer an alternative to browsing, get
more movies and tv shows!!! Quit the making
shows and trying to go to washington for
politics...

GeeEmm

I'm with Scott. That fuzzy logic doesn't compute.

And I have to point out that, because searching doesn't always turn up comprehensive results (depends on how the search is conducted and is also constrained by the accuracy/inaccuracy of NF tags), the reliance on Recommendations may be due, in part, to the frustration of trying to find something specific when the title isn't known by the searcher.

I find that searching by genre (for example: Foreign} even viewing all results for a specific language falls far, far short of the actual titles available. To find many, many films - in any genre - one has to know the title outright. The tagging isn't always consistent, so many videos (both streaming and DVD) are essentially hidden. Makes actually browsing on one's own a tad frustrating. Hence, the falling back on Recommendations.

Just curious, if I queue or view a film on my own that also happens to be in my Recommendations, how does that fit into the results? I would assume that only titles viewed or added through the IW and/or the personal Recommendations pages would be included in the tally. But who knows?

Fred Talmadge

If I watch a western I get more recommendations for westerns. Not very helpful, so the last two years I've stopped rating and just find the movies based on what I've read else where.

Brutus

I find that amazing since Netflix recommendations has been broken on my account for a long time. I never see more than one recommendation. Currently my only recommendation is Clerks: Uncensored. I have rated about 1800 movies and shows.

David

Doesn't offer a streaming queue? I can't imagine I could ever use Netflix without a streaming queue. I don't have time to search through the same movies again and again every time I want to watch one. I select a bunch in one session of searching, to enjoy over the coming days/weeks.

marco

I've had it with Watch Instantly. The movie selection is terrible. I dropped it and added another DVD to my plan to make it 3 blurays at a time. So I actually save $3 a month and get movies I actually want. Watch Instantly is terrible for films right now. They rarely get anything worthwhile.

moviegeek

No streaming queue outside the US?!
Sounds like Amazon Prime to me and I wouldn't be interested.

Lars

The 75% statistic is crap since Netflix has made it nearly impossible to browse instant titles any other way.

JJ

I agree with Scott. Extremely wonky logic for the removal of queues outside the U.S. If netflix removes queues for me, I will cancel, as I mainly only watch from my queue. And I haven't cancelled ever since I started over five years ago, and I still have BOTH streaming and DVD, having both ever since they've both been available and never getting rid of either. But I will in a heartbeat if they remove my queue.

And I also agree with Lars. The 75% statistic is wonky, since now streaming accounts are bombarded mostly only with recommendations. Which is fine, but faulty logic to try and prove that people don't want to be able to search or have a queue anymore. It's like giving a bunch of starving men eggs, then they devour it, then saying, "this proves everyone loves eggs!" No it doesn't. If it's the only thing you offer, of course people will eat it up.

I am happy, though, that they seem to still be interested with improving recommendations still. After getting rid of the ability of streaming-only people to rate non-streaming movies, it seemed a terrible step in the direction of much worse recommendations and netflix not caring. However, that they seem to equate instant streaming with people watching "whatever" or a wider variety, I am still worried that recommendations will get worse or more generic.

Judy_

Another viewpoint of the streaming situation - they ignore the problems we have all mentioned here. Probably based on the Netflix press release.

http://www.cedmagazine.com/news/2012/04/key-to-netflixs-future-better-recommendations

GeeEmm

Very enlightening article, Judy. Thanks for sharing it.

So, NF wants to discourage all spontaneous browsing by IW subscribers, which would in time make them aware of the deficiencies in the streaming catalog, by distracting them with available suggestions based on compilations of individual viewing habits. Great idea in theory, but there will be many instances where a member wants something completely different from her/his usual fare, or wants to watch something very specific. Is NF going to eventually remove onsite search capabilities to discourage such autonomy?

Sounds like NF is spending a lot of money to avoid having to spend a lot of money. Is it trying to control how people choose their video entertainment, hoping to convince them that they don't really need/want to see anything outside of a readily available, and eventually stagnant, NF catalog? Of course NF can, and will, do whatever it likes, and can take the company in any direction it chooses. But trying to manipulate viewers through a complicated - and costly - system of Suggestions, to avoid having to acquire new content, will backfire. As will dropping the DVD service, and its comprehensive selection, that so many subscribers still prefer.

Speaking of DVDs, my queue is nearly at capacity and I have noticed more and more titles with red-letter wait designations. I watch mostly foreign, documentary, and obscure films, with only a handful of mainstream-ish titles (none of which are available for streaming). Yet 7% of my queue has some wait time associated with it. That may not seem like much, but I used to never have any waits, unless I added a new release (rare for me). That percentage is climbing. I suspect that NF may not be replacing as many damaged DVDs, in order to concentrate costs on IW materials and features (the Very Long Wait titles have been queued for many months with NO change in availability).

Postage costs may be high, but streaming (development, maintenance, acquisition, etc.), overall, is much, much more costly. What will NF do to pass on those costs to the consumer, since it has said it will not raise prices again? Currently, NF can and does control (throttle) customers who rent and return DVDs at a rapid pace by delaying shipments or sending low-ranking titles. How will they control IW consumers? Will there be 'outages' or viewing caps, or a premium for usage over XX hours per month?

Nothing is free (nor should it be, in most cases) but innovation has a price - which will be passed down to the users, in either fees or restrictions. Or both.

Judy_

Yes, I have noticed more and more long and short wait signs in my DVD queue. We no longer have the local Netflix mail facility - all goes through Phoenix now. So it is an extra day to get here. But much of that is due to our dear GOP Congressmen who must keep their privately run prisons, myriad private subsidies, and war games at the expense of necessities like the postal service and neutral internet bandwidth. I can't imagine anyone sane voting to elect or re-elect anyone from that party.

Judy_

P.S. I also usually watch foreign, documentary, and "cerebral"(according to NF) films. That last genre tends to have few films available. LOL

Gobotron

Not for me. Most of what I add to my queues comes from searching out stuff that comes to mind, having a desire to watch all the movies starring someone or directed by someone, or being interested in a genre.

Joey Allred

The Netflix rating and recommendation system have become increasingly irrelevant for me. After rating over 3000 films, it's "best guess" for me is 3 stars for almost every film. I'm guaranteed to dislike most Netflix suggestions. My girlfriend's streaming viewing habits play too large a role in recommendations.
Netflix thinks I LOVE anime because I gave "Princess Mononoke" & "Sgt. Frog" five stars. I've had to negatively rate a lot of anime just to offset my high ratings.
As for long wait times, I've had 1 film at the top of my queue for over 2 years and still have not received it. There must be only one copy of "La Belle Noiseuse".

GeeEmm

Joey Allred, a wait of over 2 years is ridiculous. Out of curiosity, I added La Belle Noiseuse to my queue and moved it to the 3rd spot on my list, behind two other selections that I have been waiting many weeks for. The majority of DVDs I receive are foreign films, so I was prepared to get hit with a long or very long wait. I guess I should not have been surprised to find my top two overlooked once again in favor of the newly added La Belle. It shipped immediately. And, although the NF listing page for the film states that the the runtime is 128 min, it is, in fact, closer to four hours - and comes in two parts on two discs. Both were mailed to me (arrived today) at the same time, though in separate mailers, and counted as a single selection. A first in my experience with NF.

Don't know what my little experiment proves, other than that there is at least 1 copy of La Belle, and that it was apparently readily available. It's unreasonable for anyone to have to wait 2 years to see any title in the NF library. I do feel a bit guilty for stepping in line ahead of you, and the discs will go back out in tomorrow's mail (yes, I did watch them in a marathon run this evening - I won't review it here, but it's a good film). Hopefully, you will be getting them ASAP. Two suggestions: maybe remove La Belle Noiseuse from your queue, refresh/update the page, re-add it, and see if that knocks it out of DVD limbo - I've had to do that before; call the CS number and ask if it can be manually designated as the next in line for shipment (don't know if that can be done, but worth a try).

As an aside, I noticed recently that one can no longer see the date that each title was added to her/his queue. Used to be that, if you visited the info page for a selection already in one of your queues, it would indicate the date it was added (or shipped/viewed if it had already been seen). Now you can only see the shipping/viewing date.

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