Home Netflix Eyes Changes to Streaming Options, Personalized Recommendations

Netflix Eyes Changes to Streaming Options, Personalized Recommendations

It’s a common problem with many services that offer personalized recommendations: if you share an account among family members, it’s pretty difficult for a recommendation engine to get a sense of what one individual actually likes. Netflix is the perfect example in my household, as our “Recently Watched” videos will include things like iCarly (my boyfriend’s ten-year-old daughter’s favorite) and Man v Food (my teenage son’s). Needless to say, neither are really what I’m looking for in a recommended video, thank you very much.

Netflix is certainly aware of that problem, and according to an FAQ posted on its Investor Relations page, it’s looking at a number of tweaks to its offerings in order to make its streaming service work better for households – and for households’ individual members.

There are no specifics at this time, but Netflix does say that it’s considering shifting its emphasis from household to individual:

More recently, as streaming has become central to our business, we believe there may be an opportunity to change our focus from a household relationship to an individual relationship, since streaming is viewed on personal devices, such as phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as on shared large screen televisions.

More Streaming Options?

That move from the household-centered TV to individual’s mobile devices may require other changes as well. Currently Netflix only allows customers who sign up for the streaming-only plan to stream one movie at a time. Similarly, those who get one DVD a month and have unlimited streaming area also restricted to one stream. You can stream more than one movie at a time if you pay for the higher price packages.

But Netflix alludes in its Investors Relations FAQ that it’s looking to change these options, something that will become increasingly necessary as the company focuses more on streaming and less on DVD rentals. “Our $7.99-per-month plan is for one stream at a time, and later this year we expect to be able to offer consumers some account options to watch multiple simultaneous streams.”

Having a tiered streaming-only plan would make that option more viable for households, so that someone could watch Man v Food on their Xbox (for example) and not shut others out from watching iCarly on the iPad.

A recognition that consumers are watching videos on different devices this way might also prompt Netflix to make better use of individual profiles, even if under the umbrella of one master household account.

Would you pay more to have access to multiple streams on Netflix?

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.