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Netflix is an online movie rental store which enables customers to rent a movie online and have that movie physically delivered to their home mailbox (or any other address covered within the NetFlix shipping jurisdiction) and then return the movie only when they are finished with it.

Because of this new model for movie rentals, Netflix enjoyed a steady rise in popularity as people preferred the leniency of having no late-fees, as well as the wider selection that NetFlix was able to offer their customers, over bricks-and-mortar rental stores which are typically limited by space and forced to carry only the most popular titles.


In this sense Netflix is said to have ridden what marketers commonly refer to as the Long Tail, which states that a large number of people prefer obscure titles over popular titles, only which obscure titles will vary, thus causing a long tail in requiring to stock an incredibly diverse library of content to appease the broader masses of customers. Before the advent of the internet, it is said that this type of distribution may not have even been possible.

NetFlix Prize - Recommender Challenge

As a result of the increasing competition NetFlix has faced from brick-and-mortar as well as click-and-mortar stores, NetFlix began looking for ways to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. In an effort to realize their new satisfaction strategy and differentiate themselves from competitors, they began the Netflix Prize, a competition to (first) create, and then later improve the Netflix Suggestion Tool. This tool essentially acts as a Recommender System on the domain of Netflix customers, while not exactly being a full-fledged Recommendation Engine, since only those who are registered users/customers of Netflix are able to see the recommendations that it creates.


In 2007, NetFlix also decided to strike streaming partnerships and licensing agreements which allowed the company to stream certain studio's movies over the world wide web. Customers could now order a movie and, rather than waiting for the DVD to arrive in the mail within 24 hrs, simply start watching the movie right away, as soon as it had completed buffering a minimum percentage of the movie in order to play through cleanly.

NetFlix Queue

The queue functionality is the most popular feature of Netflix.

NetFlix API

Launched October, 2008!




External Links

See Also

Movie | Streaming | Recommender