‘Netflixing’ takes on new definitions
By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer
Netflix, the most popular video streaming service available in Canada, has branched off into exciting new territory. At a press conference held last month in Vancouver, BC, the company announced the launch of “Netflix Dates”—a dating service based around the Netflix video streaming platform.
Netflix Dates are just what they sound like: two people meet up, watch a program on Netflix together, and then—when it’s over—watch another program. The algorithm that Netflix uses provides Netflix Dates personnel the information needed to schedule the date, pick the programming, and find a suitable location that has Wi-Fi access near both interested parties. The service has only been available for a month in its beta testing base of Vancouver, yet it’s already proving to be extremely popular with singles.
Geoff Funblaum, the chief marketing director for Netflix Canada, explained the idea behind the service: “Netflix Dates is a service that finds singles nearby with similar viewing patterns, and then we see if they both want to get together and consume Netflix as a single unit… Most single people are single because they watch too much Netflix or because their relationships fail due to incompatible Netflix viewing preferences. Our service provides a solution.”
Engineers at Netflix have created an algorithm that gathers your viewing data based on show preferences, length of watching sprees, and time of day when shows are watched, and then determines who your ideal local matches are. Netflix Dates engineer Peter George told the Other Press that “the algorithm is damn complicated—it’s full of numbers and symbols and other weird-looking shit—but the results are incredible. Just by knowing what you watch, when, and for how long, we can determine your age, gender, weight, musical preferences, educational background, occupational situation, and income levels—all of which are important tools to finding you a potential mate to go out with.”
When Netflix finds a match, both parties receive an alert that includes all the necessary information to make a Netflix Date happen. “All you have to do is sit back and enjoy watching your favourite movies or TV shows while we here at Netflix do all the work for you in finding your perfect match,” said Funblaum.
Netflix knows its clientele, and knows how lazy single Vancouverites who watch too much Netflix are; with Netflix Dates, the company hopes to make life easier for those who love watching episode after episode and movie after movie.
The service, which is only available in Vancouver so far, is already planning on expanding east in the next few weeks. A few kinks need to be ironed out first, though.
“Too many dates have failed since the Netflix Date users forgot to talk to each other during the date,” explained George. “We might have to program specific pauses in the date programs we provide so that the folks can discuss the show and themselves with each other.”
As the service expands past its beta testing phase, it’s still unsure how strong of a foothold Netflix will gain within the realm of 21st century dating.