The Advertising Age article that was required reading for this week’s COM 529 class talked about the Cinematch application in Netflix. Netflix tracks your rental history and allows you to rate movies, then Cinematch analyzes your data and the data of others similar to you to make recommendations of “movies you’ll love.” The Advertising Age article cites the Cinematch application as drawing millions of users to Netflix. I doubt this very much. I think Netflix was the right idea at the right time, and that alone garnered it millions of users. I personally think Cinematch is terrible at predicting movies I’ll love, and I prefer to base my picks on either Rotten Tomatoes or my favorite critic, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune.
Anyway, that is rather beside my point. To learn more about the Cinematch application and algorithim, check out this article from Wired magazine. It explains how Cinematch works now (not so great) and why Netflix is offering $1 million dollars to the person or team that can build a better recommendation engine.