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Personalization at Netflix - Making Stories Travel

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Personalization at Netflix - Making Stories Travel

  1. 1. PERSONALIZATION AT NETFLIX MAKING STORIES TRAVEL SUDEEP DAS SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST
  2. 2. BUT ENTERTAINMENT REMAINS LARGELY PERSONAL
  3. 3. BUT ENTERTAINMENT REMAINS LARGELY PERSONAL In this world of abundance, personalization is the key to helping you find the content that will spark joy for you.
  4. 4. THE NETFLIX HOMEPAGE IS DESIGNED FOR YOU
  5. 5. THE INGREDIENTS
  6. 6. THE MAIN INGREDIENTS Your viewing history Your thumbs + My List adds Members with similar tastes Title details
  7. 7. Personalization 101 WHERE TO BEGIN?
  8. 8. POLL THE AUDIENCE?
  9. 9. POLL THE AUDIENCE?
  10. 10. THE FIRST STEPS OF PERSONALIZATION
  11. 11. The algorithm’s first guesses are mostly based on POPULARITY but gently nudged toward YOUR INITIAL CHOICES
  12. 12. AS YOU WATCH MORE, OUR ALGORITHMS START TO IDENTIFY YOU WITH INTEREST GROUPS
  13. 13. INTEREST GROUPS form organically from millions of members viewing habits…
  14. 14. SUDEEP’S FIRST WEEK:
  15. 15. SUDEEP’S RECOMMENDATIONS X 0.4 X 0.3 X 0.2 X 0.1
  16. 16. AS I WATCH MORE, MY HOMEPAGE BECOMES MORE PERSONALIZED
  17. 17. IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME PERSONALIZATION IS ABLE TO OVERCOME THE BIAS OF POPULARITY
  18. 18. IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME PERSONALIZATION IS ABLE TO OVERCOME THE BIAS OF POPULARITY BUT HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
  19. 19. Suppose you watched several comedies recently and your homepage ended up looking like this:
  20. 20. WHILE OUR ALGOS HELP PERSONALIZE THEY ALSO HELP YOU BREAK OUT OF YOUR FILTER BUBBLE Image: Eli Pariser
  21. 21. AT 1 WEEK SUDEEP’S CENTRAL INTERESTS SUDEEP’S EXPLORATION ZONE
  22. 22. AT 6 MONTHS SUDEEP’S CENTRAL INTERESTS SUDEEP’S EXPLORATION ZONE
  23. 23. PRESENTING THIS POSES A CHALLENGE MY MIXED BAG
  24. 24. One Scrollable Comedy Row Presenting diverse recommendations necessitates ORGANIZATION A big slate of related comedies
  25. 25. ROWS : A meaningful way to navigate diverse recommendations One Scrollable Comedy Row A genre row A row based on Similarity A subgenre row
  26. 26. CONSTRUCTING THE HOME PAGE REQUIRES COMPLEX ALGORITHMIC DESIGN AND DEEP HUMAN EXPERTISE
  27. 27. Visually-striking Nature & Ecology Documentaries But first … WHERE DO SUCH EXPRESSIVE ROW HEADERS COME FROM? Teen Supernatural TV Sci-Fi & Fantasy Visionary Documentaries about Food
  28. 28. From Tags to Containers Our team of in-house experts meticulously tag each title with a rich taxonomy of 200 different story data points that form the basis of thematic containers. These containers and their descriptive row headers provide meaning. Each title may end up belonging to many different containers.
  29. 29. HOW TO MAKE A NETFLIX HOMEPAGE
  30. 30. HOW TO MAKE A NETFLIX HOMEPAGE 1. Decide which titles should be on the homepage for this member
  31. 31. HOW TO MAKE A NETFLIX HOMEPAGE 2. For each title decide which of the possible containers/row headers make most sense to this member
  32. 32. HOW TO MAKE A NETFLIX HOMEPAGE 3. Once a row is formed, decide how to rank the titles within the row
  33. 33. HOW TO MAKE A NETFLIX HOMEPAGE 4. Decide the order of the rows so that the most relevant titles are placed in the most prominent positions
  34. 34. HOW TO MAKE A NETFLIX HOMEPAGE 5. Remove duplicates
  35. 35. HOW TO MAKE A NETFLIX HOMEPAGE 5. Remove duplicates Yes, it is complicated, but our technology enables the construction of a unique page for each and every one of our members!
  36. 36. Sudeep! WHEN YOU GIVE US FEEDBACK, WE LISTEN
  37. 37. Sudeep! WHEN YOU GIVE US FEEDBACK, WE LISTEN Thumbs signals are fed back into the personalization algorithm, which then adjusts your recommendations in a meaningful way.
  38. 38. ● We want our recommendations to be accurate in that they are relevant to the tastes of our members, but they also need to be diverse so that we can address the spectrum of a member’s interests versus only focusing on one. ● We want to be able to highlight the depth in the catalog we have in those interests and also the breadth we have across other areas to help our members explore and find new interests. ● We want our recommendations to be fresh and responsive to the actions a member takes, such as watching a show, adding to their list, or thumb up/down OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
  39. 39. 148 Million Members - 190 Countries - 22 Languages OUR ALGORITHMS ARE GLOBAL AND THEY HELP GLOBAL STORIES BE HEARD!
  40. 40. A row from my homepage that our algorithm formed possibly based on my interest in Nordic Noir.
  41. 41. GLOBAL ALGORITHMS foster GLOBAL COMMUNITIES
  42. 42. “Despite a supposed surge in nationalism across the globe, many people like to watch movies and TV shows from other countries. “What we’re learning is that people have very diverse and eclectic tastes, and if you provide them with the world’s stories, they will be really adventurous, and they will find something unexpected,” Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president for original content, told me.”
  43. 43. Great stories come from everywhere. Our technology enables those stories to be heard.
  44. 44. THANK YOU

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