Many people felt bored during Covid-19 lockdowns and used platforms like Netflix, Movistar + or Disney + to escape the constraints. We are slowly returning to normality but the number of viewers has not fallen. Streaming platforms are becoming increasingly addictive, and many times the reason is the algorithm for proposing content. We will explain how they work and tell you why you won’t be able to disconnect from streaming platforms even if it is your choice.
Some platforms don’t use algorithms. HBO and Filmin both pride themselves in using human recommenders to organize their content. Movistar + has five programmers. Even Netflix, when it’s just hitting a geographic area, has to pull a non-algorithm-generated pitch to get started. While all platforms can be successful in their own way, Netflix accounted for 31% of all streaming traffic in the US in 2019. YouTube was second at 21% and YouTube third at 21%. The US’s streaming platforms account for 19%. Logically, this includes traditional TV and cable TV.
If we don’t talk about human communities that have certain knowledge, then algorithms rule. They also have…
How does the algorithm that powers the largest streaming platform in the world work? Everything is built on the paradox that there are many choices. More choices means more human beings become paralyzed. They are more unhappy, frustrated, and end up blaming themselves.
On average, adults spend 7.4 minutes searching for the content they want on a streaming platform. The average time taken to search for content on a streaming platform is 7.4 minutes. 58% of users tune in to traditional channels after that, while 21% get frustrated and don’t choose any content.
Netflix sought a way to make it easier for users to make decisions by privileging content blocks, and providing suggestions. This decreases the time it takes to make a decision and reduces the likelihood that the user will abandon the site.
Every person is unique, so the system learns what they do based on how much time they spend watching, the devices they use and the amount of time they watch. This allows Netflix to do many things. It assigns content clusters to subscribers. Every Netflix subscriber gets 3 to 5 content clusters with similar content. This is how communities form, and not because users interact with one another, but because Netflix calls similar users with the same tastes and habits. They then make recommendations to users based upon clustersassigned (all recommendation profile are recalculated every 24-hours). They also occasionally scour content that is not directly relevant to them, through trial and error. It also adjusts seemingly insignificant things such as the image used to identify each movie or series (there are four images for each content). This allows for a completely personalized experience. This is why…
Companies are constantly fine-tuning algorithms to ensure that users have the best possible experience. These complex algorithms are called Artificial Intelligence “artificial neurons networks” because they act in the same way as neurons and establish new synapses when new data is received.
A streaming platform that is well-adjusted will be able to analyze what time we stop or advance an image, which content we abandon, search terms we use, and which videos we most value (the ones with the highest scores). It will also analyze the day, time, and geographic location of each content. Also, even the smallest actions like how to scroll down the page will be analysed. All this data will provide you with valuable information that will allow you to not only offer the best content, but also create the content users want.
We also know that Netflix performs regular A/B tests to test how users interact with the page and the app (up to 160 per year). They also correct design issues such as the typography and the size of images, or the small presentation videos.
This, along with intelligent coding that adjusts to the device in order to optimize quality, allows the user to have an increasingly personalized experience. The platforms are tailored to their needs like a glove.
Consumption will rise even further if there is one thing that will do that:
It is important to remember that users can not be seen in their privacy what they consume. This minimizes the importance of social components, opinion leaders, media and influencers. It will increasingly be the algorithm that gives us what we want, even if it means sharing the experience or only partially. The individual viewing experience offered by these platforms will increase content consumption, as it was with TV. They will increase consumption.
Streaming platforms have been here for a while, thanks to the drop in face-to–face activity due to the pandemic. They will soon dominate audiovisual content consumption. It is not a question of whether you can disconnect from them but which platforms and how much you will be attached in the future.