When it comes to watching television, viewers usually watch everything in the same order: the show will have a certain order of broadcast or its story will be such that looking at it out of order would turn it into nonsense. With his new series of anthologies Love, Death + RobotsNetflix tried something new: to test different episode orders to see which one gave the best results.
For such a series of anthologies, where each episode is independent, you will not have to worry about looking in any particular order – there is none. But the way you look can change the way you live the episodes.
After viewers noticed episodes moving from viewer to viewer, Netflix explained the difference in a tweet. "We have never had a show like Love, Death and Robots previously, so we try something completely new, "said the official accounts," presenting four different orders of episodes. "
Netflix is well known for its rigorous a / b testing practices, with very different layouts and results for different users to determine which works best. This practice is particularly intense for content recommendations, but also applies to thumbnails and other aspects of the product. Despite some interactivity experiences, these tests have never extended to the video itself, and this latest command experience is the closest Netflix is turning the content of a program from viewer to viewer .
In questioning our staff this week, we only discovered two distinct episode orders, one beginning with the episode "Sonnie's Edge" and another beginning with "Beyond L'Aquila" – although it is possible that other orders were tested earlier in the publication and canceled. for poor performance.
Netflix's experiences have had problems in the past. In October, the company was shocked by the fear that its thumbnail previews would target users by race, highlighting black characters in a given program when the user was black. Netflix denied this claim, saying that the vignettes were algorithmically generated and that the company did not target users demographically.
The reorganization of the episodes has met similar concerns. When the variation was discovered for the first time, some assumed that the order of the episodes had changed based on their sex or sexual orientation – "Sonnie's Edge" describes a lesbian relationship, while "Beyond from "aquila" describes a heterosexual relationship. Netflix rebuffed these allegations, claiming that it did not specifically collect this type of information, and The edgeThe tests performed by the client revealed no evidence of sexual targeting.