A recent guest blogger on this site lamented the time he spent looking for content to stream across his various streaming services. He longed for an app that would simplify content choice back to the days of the weekly TV Guide magazine, when you could count the number of watchable TV channels on one hand.
The blogger needn’t worry. Help is already here. Just a few clicks away.
While Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos long ago admitted there was more streaming content available than any one person could consume in a lifetime, finding something watch is not difficult. It’s actually easy thanks to recommendation algorithms and email marketing already employed by most streaming platforms — as well as reading Media Play News.
You just have to act upon the data right in front of you.
I’ve been binging a lot of crime reality lately, including shows such as “48 Hours,” “20/20,” and “Dateline” across Paramount+, Hulu and Peacock. I’m now inundated with similar programming across Prime Video, Netflix and Max. Streaming one episode of “48 Hours” on my laptop has resulted in an avalanche of similar content available on YouTube.
A downside to those algorithms is often finding the same crimes repackaged with new headlines and a slightly different narrative across a different streaming platform. Nothing worse than realizing you already know who committed the murder!
That said, content alternatives are as plentiful and easy to find as scrolling the TV screen or reading an email. Peacock today sent me the following message: “What do you feel like?” with the following interactive buttons: “I’m looking for drama,” “I want to laugh,” “I want to dive deep,” and “I’m feeling spontaneous”. Upon clicking a button I was directed to a handful of programming I could begin streaming immediately on my laptop or TV screen.
The process took a few seconds.
Netflix has launched a sizable selection (30 titles) of 1970s movies it licensed from Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM, which include, among others, the 51-year-old actioner Charley Varrick, starring Walter Matthau, Black Belt Jones, the 1973 Blaxploitation film starring Bruce Lee sidekick Jim Kelly, and Oscar-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Jack Nicholson.
I chose Charley Varrick (Matthau never disappoints) after about two minutes of scrolling.
Media Play News posts weekly updates from JustWatch.com, Reelgood.com, Samba TV, Nielsen and Netflix showcasing the most-popular movies and TV shows streamed that week. Each chart is like a virtual Top 10 TV Guide.
Reelgood today sent separate charts outlining the top “quality” and “high quality” TV shows streaming in January based on IMDb.com recommendations. It also charted the number of movies and TV shows each streaming service offers per dollar spent on a subscription. Hulu, Netflix and Prime Video sequentially offer the most TV content for money spent on a subscription. Prime Video offers the most movies.
Today’s “TV Guide” may be supersized algorithms, but content selection really just revolves around making a decision and clicking a button.