Movies Anywhere is using AI to create lists of the movies you own

The system takes your viewing history into account when generating the lists.


Movies Anywhere, the streaming hub that pulls together films you purchase for a variety of digital stores, has added a feature many users have long been hoping for: lists. Not only will this help you better organize your library, the system will automatically generate personalized lists based on the movies you own. You should now see a My Lists tab next to My Movies.

Organizing a Movies Anywhere library presents a different challenge to grouping titles together on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. While subscribers of those services have access to the same content based on the country they're in, every Movies Anywhere user has a unique selection of films in their locker.

Movies Anywhere is looking to avoid having the same movie in too many lists. As such, movies are typically funneled into categories to which they're most closely matched.

One key part of the My Lists feature is that it takes into account viewing behavior. During a demo last week, Movies Anywhere didn’t go into too much detail about how this works. However, if you watch a few minutes of any film, the algorithm, artificial intelligence and machine learning systems will consider what you're interested in watching when they organize your lists.

Movies Anywhere’s content team classifies the films and there are around 2,000 different potential categories as things stand. These are centered around things like genres, franchises, people (say, actors, directors or composers) and themes. So, if you have a lot of movies about robots or cyborgs in your library, they might be grouped together in a list. Same thing goes for a collection of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Other lists might focus on movies focused on antiheroes or musicians. The system might generate a list of nostalgic flicks, or classify films into subgenres.

Lists that Movies Anywhere creates for you are marked as "automatic lists." You can also create and modify lists. You'll be able to add and remove films, reorganize lists and rename them. If you own all the Star Wars movies, for instance, you can place them in release order, sort them in the canonical timeline or even arrange them in the so-called Machete order. It’s up to you.

One thing you can't do right now is modify any lists on the Movies Anywhere smart TV app. You can only browse your lists there. But because your lists sync across devices, you can make changes on a phone, tablet or computer, and you'll see those reflected on your smart TV.

This is a useful update, especially for Movies Anywhere users who pick up a ton of movies during sales or those who redeem tons of digital codes from Blu-ray purchases. The service says that My Lists is "a direct response to specific requests" from users. It should bring some more order to users' libraries, which can get unwieldy as they grow in size.