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Netflix test brings human-curated 'Collections' to streaming

Experts can suggest something to watch where algorithms fail.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 23, 2019
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Netflix leans on algorithms for virtually all of its show suggestions, but it's trying something radical: curation from real, honest-to-goodness humans. The service is testing expert-crafted Collections that, much like music playlists, offer selections based around certain themes. You can check out a collection of light-hearted fare if you're looking for relief from a stressful week, or go for prizewinning titles if you only want critically-praised pieces.

The company is only testing the feature in its iOS app so far, and stressed that there's no guarantee Collections will be widely available. They "may or may not become permanent features," a spokesperson told TechCrunch. Netflix's disc-based service already has a similar Collections feature, although it clearly doesn't have the instant gratification of streaming.

It seems like it may be just a matter of time before Collections are more widely available, though. As initial discoverer Jeff Higgins found, Collections are billed as an "easy way" to find shows you'd like. It's all too common to be overwhelmed by choices on streaming services like Netflix. If this helps you start watching sooner instead of browsing endless automated suggestions, you may be more likely to come back instead of drifting toward other services.

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