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Netflix testing 'Max' assistant on some PS3 users to improve movie recommendations

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
August 1, 2012
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It's not available to all, but if you're running the latest version (2.08) of the Netflix app on your PlayStation 3 you may see a prompt for a new item called Netflix Max, spotted by one of our readers. Described by a PR rep we contacted as a "new user experience" the company is testing, the assistant talks to users directly and asks them to rate a few movies on the spot before providing new suggestions. The Noisecast was among the first to try out the new experience and even has a few tips on how to get it for yourself, although it didn't work on our PS3, even after uninstalling and reinstalling the app to get the latest version. The blog mentioned it does more than simply rating movies also, as it sometimes asked users to select movies based on specific criteria, like the starring actors. It can be brought up by pressing the square button on your PS3 controller, although how much you enjoy the gameified experience may vary.

Pulling gems out of a catalog filled with older and lower profile movies is a complaint of many Netflix subscribers though, so any attempt to help is welcome, but we're not immediately sure this is the way. According to Netflix, it's waiting to see if the tool leads to "increased interaction" (read: more viewing hours / less likely to cancel, on average) before deciding whether or not to roll the tool out widely, so if you have it and like it, vote with your remotes.

[Thanks, Sean aka Prophet Beal]

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