Who doesn’t have Netflix? Okay, pipe down down-loaders and women who brave their local 7-11 Redbox. Besides you… who doesn’t have Netflix? Okay, pipe down people who complain about $8 a month for unlimited streaming (Instant Watch) of tons of movies and television shows. This post is for the non-hobos with an internet connection. The library is closed!
Millions of people have Netflix. This means millions of eye balls have the ability to discover, enjoy or hate new and old film and television content. For a filmmaker, actor, or writer Netflix becomes an incredible tool to help get your content and name out to the world. The web-series “The Guild” was released onto Netflix years ago and was able to gain curious new eyeballs from viewers like myself. I discovered “The Guild” based on Netflix’s “recommendations” and “best guess” star ratings, which are based on my other movie and television preferences. Netflix’s recommendations, and it’s community of users’ star ratings, can really make or break a production on Netflix. If a movie is not recommended in comparison to another chosen movie then users may never see the movie. If a show is given poor ratings by several users, then the show looks like a dud and many users will avoid watching. Basically, Netflix has the potential to help or hurt a creator’s reputation and possibly career.
Netflix may in fact be largely responsible for the resurrection of the comedy “Arrested Development” which was canceled after three seasons on Fox, due to poor ratings. The show became such a huge hit on Netflix (particularly for the Instant Watch community) that years later a movie and follow-up season are being created. The new season will be created exclusively for Netflix users, giving Netflix some quality future original content.
This brings me to my title question: Who Instant Watches the Instant Watchers?
Recently Netflix has started creating their own viewing content. Their first produced content came in the form of the 8 episode “Lilyhammer.” “Lilyhammer” is a show about an ex-gangster who testifies against a mob boss and then is sent to Norway as a part of his witness protection program. I specifically searched for this show in my Netflix Instant Watch account so it was not “recommended” to me by Netflix, however, once I got there I noticed it had a “best guess” 4.3 star rating for me (with an overall 4.1 star rating). Instantly (see what I did there) I was skeptical.
Sure the general rating quotes over 70,000 users who have rated the series, but how do I know that number of users is accurate and/or real? Netflix could easily corrupt their rating system by having bots give high reviews to their own original content. Since it is Netflix’s system, they could easily do this and nobody would know the difference. Taking this Netflix skepticism further, how do we know production companies are not paying Netflix to use their possible review bots to boost specific programming? The sway of eyes to particular creators and actors could help the production companies’ numbers on recent movie theater releases, blu-ray and DVD sales or even weekly television watching habits (thus helping gain advertisers for commercials). Oh yes, this corruption runs deep… all the way to the Presidency!
Dun dun dunnnnnnnn!
Take a moment to sit down. Compose yourself. Take a deep breath.
The next time you jump onto your Netflix queue… be cool. They don’t know you know. But you know. I know. We know.
My apologies for not asking you if you would rather not take the red pill.