Back in October 2006, Netflix began their $1 million challenge, offering a cash reward to the development team whom could improve Cinematch, the company’s recommendation engine, by at least 10%. After nearly three years the winner has finally been compensated.
Netflix considered the million such a good investment that they’ve decided to start all over again. This time, Netflix will “present the contestants with demographic and behavioral data, and they will be asked to model individuals’ “taste profiles.”’ Unlike the past contest, there will be no minimum improvement required. $500k will go to the team leading after 6 months, the other $500k given to the team following 18 months. Netflix has found their new research tool and they’ve hired the public to do the job for them. I’m sure its cheaper than paying a full research team to do the same job.