back to article Netflix mulls using AI to craft personalized movie trailers for viewers

Researchers at Netflix are experimenting with creating software-edited trailers personalized for individual subscribers to get more peeps to watch its films, according to a well-placed source familiar with the matter. The popular streaming service has over 100 million subscribers across hundreds of countries. It collects …

  1. DNTP

    I know where this is going

    And I like it.

    1. LaeMing

      Re: I know where this is going (MostlySFW)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I know where this is going

      funny how I just knew what you meant as soon as I read your comment. Great minds, etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I know where this is going

      sorry, correction! - having checked the link to confirm the methodology, I was somewhat baffled to discover that only one half of each image applied to my original pre-cognitive agreement with your assessment of where it's leading to. Sorry, must go back to that site to carry out further visual experiments. A new hypotheses: perhaps, at some point in the experiment the images converge to come up with what they should have projected originally...

    4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: I know where this is going

      What is the point?

    5. handleoclast

      Re: I know where this is going

      Big disappointment.

      I watched that page for 30 minutes and the boobs didn't explode.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saw a trailer for a horror film that looked really good. We went to see it the next week - and found that the trailer had been all the best bits.

    1. LaeMing

      Not uncommon these days, sadly

    2. Flakk

      Echoing my thoughts. I wonder if my ideal trailer would be something like:

      [Black Screen]


      From none of the minds that brought you anything associated with any over-flogged Disney properties and starring absolutely no actors that regularly make jackasses out of themselves on Twitter, comes a great new comedy with funny bits that you'll actually need to go to the theater to see.

      [Movie Title in Arial Bold Centered on the Black Screen]

      [Movie Title Fades, Replaced by Movie Credits]

      Call me crazy, I might actually go see that.

  3. ThatOne Silver badge

    Recipe for disaster

    > For example, an action movie may be more appealing if the romantic scenes are highlighted for people who watch more romance films or if the scenes containing a preferred actor or actress are included.

    Quite true, but the problem will be to assess those preferences... Given the braindead nonsensical "suggestions" I get at all major online stores (like Amazon) (despite having been a customer for up to nearly two decades), I'm ready to bet good money their "personalized" trailers will be a total waste of electrons...

    1. VinceH

      Re: Recipe for disaster

      Blockbuster 2: Even More Explosions - Definitely the Ultimate Version

      We're recommending this to you because you bought Blockbuster 2: Even More Explosions - The Final, Final, Final Cut

      See? It all makes perfect sense. If you liked that movie, you'll like it again.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Polishing the turd

    So they're going to edit trailers of the straight-to-video junk that makes up so much of their content, in order to make them even less representative of the film and thereby con me into watching something I won't find enjoyable in practice? Only in some marketing drone's mind could that seem like a good plan.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Polishing the turd

      Yeah I think i'd prefer a user review / comments / up-down vote type system.

      Then again thats what I do with any film I get hold of - just use imdb reviews etc and learn how to read between the lines.

      A customised trailer would only work on somneone who watches trailers , I dont as I've long since learned plot points , or "best bits" might well be given away.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Polishing the turd

        re. imdb reviews - be careful there, see what happened after the release of a possibly THE most spectacular movie of this century (Singularity). Review business seems to be a-booming....

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: imdb reviews

          Amazon bought IMDB and Goodreads. Good USA consumer protection regulation?

          Also a good movie or book can get bad reviews because it's marketed wrong, or expectations are wrong. Rubbish can be successful to a mass market. You need to know the biases of the reviewer, which is possible with a regular critic in paper or TV, but impossible with anonymous internet reviews, that might be sock-puppets / bots.

          Amazon manages to remove real reviews and leave fake ones on books. Go figure.

  5. Mage Silver badge

    Reinforces bubbles.

    So you'll never move outside of watching the sort of thing you have watched.

    Ideal for people cowardly doing remakes and sequels and franchises instead of new content. Disastrous for the world's culture.

    Ultimately make the platform boring. It will be part of a feedback loop to lowest denominator. Already Netflix is more like a small video library than a streaming service as they drop content, no long tail and promote only that which is already popular.

    Amazon and eBay already do this quite well (except it's self defeating the "better" it's done) and it's really stupid and annoying. So actually it doesn't work unless someone that's just bought an electric drill wants another. It's pretty easy if you build decent metadata, starting with genre and description, then studio and cast.

  6. James 51

    So, how many times will we get a Terminator Genesis style spoiler in the trailer? Or a five minute trailer which is essentially a condensed version of the movie and there's nothing new in the movie?

  7. viscount

    I use Netflix and if they are using AI I wish they would use it to improve recommendations. They have some odd ideas about what I might like.

    1. ThaumaTechnician

      "They have some odd ideas about what I might like."

      No kidding. If you rate a movie/show as "Hated it", you get a new category "Because you liked xxx".

      I wish there was a ratings settings of "Jeebus! If you ever suggest a show like this one again, I'm cancelling my subscription!"

      Also: provide a switch to stop the frigging' previews. Geeze, Netflix, just because my cursor is stopped on a show in a list ('cuz I'm trying to see who's in it, or I want to check IMDB first), it doesn't mean I want to see the promo.

      While I'm at it: there are times that I want to read the credits. Stop minimizing them! Let the members decide...

      1. Mage Silver badge

        re: Let the members decide

        There are no netflix members, only customers to be fleeced. Note that subscriptions need to double in price. They don't make a profit at €9.

        Subscription anything is a game of lock people in and then you don't care how few gym visits or hours watching they use. Subs only benefit people that binge out every week.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about fixing your "recommended programmes" before you start pissing about with this.

  9. Teiwaz

    Amazons version

    Shows you nothing but trailers for films you've already watched


    The trailer for the movie you are currently watching during an ad break...

    ...Well, it's to pattern to most of my Azamoan product recomendations...

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    AI can take a running jump

    The wife watches on-line and moans about the Ad breaks - me? I watch my old DVD's and last night I watched my favorite Christmas Movie again ... Brazil ... it's stunning how much it represents Trump's America.

  11. thomas k

    I'd prefer ...

    they spend that money licensing more and/or better content.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd prefer it if they *stopped* using AI or whatever crappy algorithm they currently use to show me their catalogue. Having to depend on 3rd party sites to see the full catalogue is not only annoying, it guarantees that stuff I want to watch keeps getting pulled when nobody watches it (because they never know it's there due to the crap selective display).

  13. Mint Sauce

    Dear Netflix

    Please stop trying to 'curate' my viewing, and just give me a damn index so I can easily browse through everything and discover stuff for myself.

    Yeah, I know never going to happen.

    1. ThaumaTechnician

      Re: Dear Netflix

      Call them to make the comment. The phone will be answered by a person. Rreally!

  14. Richard 31


    My favourite trailer is one with no sound and no pictures that never plays. I wonder if the AI can work that one out for me?

    I would prefer they spent their time on an interface that allowed you to see all the content.

  15. strum

    >an action movie may be more appealing if the romantic scenes are highlighted for people who watch more romance films

    Hows that going to work for couple who 'Netflix & chill' - if one partner likes the romantic stuff, but she prefers hardcore action?

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