Netflix Prize

This must be one of the most blogged about stories of the last week. But I’m going to do it anyway because I think it’s really interesting and it spans the worlds of geekery and marketing perfectly…

Netflix are offering $1,000,000 to someone who can come up with a way of improving their recommendations engine. All you have to do is increase the accuracy of their recommendations engine by 10%…

A really smart, noisy promotion. Not sure how it works in terms of driving sign-ups, but in terms of making Netflix a very very talked about (and innovative) brand it works a treat. I was thinking to myself what a Marketing 2.0 type idea it was.

But, thanks to the collective smarts of the blogosphere I’ve changed my mind a bit. As pointed out on the O’Reilly Radar, if they’d just opened up their API in the first place so that people could do interesting stuff with it, the million bucks could probably have been saved and they might already have the answer they’re looking for.

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