One of the challenges of highly customer-driven systems like the iPod, Tivo, and Netflix is the keeping it fresh. I wrote about my experience with this problem last fall (New, Unexpected Music on Your iPod).
I’m sensing the same “2,000 songs and nothing’s on” wall with Netflix. Sure, there are 50 discs in our queue right now. But that’s down from nearly 80 a few months ago. This means, we’re adding movies at a slower frequency. Though we’re watching them at about the same frequency.
To add to this, the only reason I visit the Netflix.com is to add an item to my queue. I get the queue as an RSS feed and my ratings are posted via email. I never checkout their recommendations
This is a recipe for burnout.
Tivo solved this problem by developing recommendation engine that records things it thinks you’ll like. Though Netflix also offers recommendations, it doesn’t go the extra step – sending me the disc.
Since Netflix makes the bulk of their revenue on a tiered subscription model, the discs in each of their tiers could default to a ‘Netflix Suggestion’ with additional membership dollars going to override their recommendation engine with a something I’ve selected. The upshot is, of my 3-at-a-time subscription – 1 or more of them could be selected and delivered by Netflix – thereby guaranteeing new stuff is always in the queue.