Netflix Knows What Pictures You Will Click On

Netflix knows what you are going to watch and why. Creepy? Yes, but true as well. The video streaming giant has found a method for figuring out the image you are likely to click on. Recent experiments reveal some shocking and useful takeaways about why users click on specific pictures.

Image – the best way to discover perfect title

“Broadly, we know that if you don’t capture a member’s attention within 90 seconds, that member will likely lose interest and move onto another activity,” said Nick Nelson, Netflix’s global manager of creative services.

People spend 82% of their time scrolling through artwork instead of reading descriptions or titles when they browse the site. Hence, if the video streaming giant is not providing that person with some amazing pictures, then they are likely to get bored and will probably close the tab to check their social media instead. Also researchers found that viewers only spend 1.8 seconds considering each title. Images matter almost four times more than the title, according to the research. Netflix shared the research on its blog.

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Nelson said they saw one clear thing: by using better images to represent content, overall streaming hours and engagement significantly increased. The foremost thing is that the images should be high quality; otherwise they will not draw any users.

“Images become the most efficient and compelling way to help them discover the perfect title as quickly as possible,” stated Nelson in a blog post.

Netflix using this to boost viewership

Netflix has used this information in its favor and figured out exactly what will get users to stay on the site. Each image shows a complex emotion and not just an emotion of sadness or happiness. The streaming giant gave some examples as well with promos of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the best one was Kimmy’s and Titus’ reaction to something in an enigmatic way.

For Orange Is the New Black, a tiny thumbnail with a huge ensemble did not do as good as the thumbnail featuring Piper alone. The trend of liking pictures differs from place to place; for instance, U.S. users preferred a picture of one of the main characters of Sense8, while an artsier picture is clicked by people in Germany.

Netflix has been gathering consumer research specifically about the pictures on its service since 2014. The streaming service used both science and art for the research. Creative teams considered the emotions, colors and words that appear on the pictures, while data scientists analyzed user statistics.