Why your Netflix thumbnails don't look like mine
Why your Netflix thumbnails dont look like others Vox

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A thumbnail is worth a thousand words. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Netflix has thousands of videos to choose from for a night (or day) of marathon watching. The problem is: how do you pick what to watch? It can be daunting searching through various titles, so much so that you may end up skipping to watch anything altogether. Netflix tries to make it easier to pick titles through personalization of their site—including the thumbnails you’ll see for every piece of content in their catalog. With thousands of videos to choose from, and more than 130 million subscriber in 190 countries, there’s a lot of potential to create some eye-catching thumbnails according to users’ tastes. So the company uses a set of algorithms to determine what images you’re more likely to click on. It’s just one streaming service on the frontier of personalizing how content is served to its viewers. Netflix’s goal is to get you engaged with their content for as long as possible. And ever changing customizable thumbnails is just one of their methods. Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com Check out our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Or our podcasts: https://www.vox.com/podcasts Follow Vox on Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H Or on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o

Comments

Vardhanam Daga : Wow. Just wow. This is machine learning at the next level.

argell : I mostly watch political/ period films so no wonder my thumbnails are always of people up close and looking like they got their pet taken away from them

elizabeth nite : I feel like my “match score” is always higher for Netflix originals

J G : Dear Vox, Whoever is your lead animator or animation director or motion graphics supervisor (maybe its a team? maybe just one brilliant animator?) GIVE THEM A RAISE RIGHT NOW! They are on FIRE! Motion graphics just keep getting better and better.... Sincerely, A Lesser Animator

Casual Potato : "Why your Netflix thumbnails don't look like mine" Weird flex, but okay.

Farcyy : Sometimes when I go on Netflix I’m like “Oh they changed the thumbnail” of a series I’m watching. Could this be that I’m watching a lot of different shows of different genres?

The NuggetBacon : Does that mean Netflix is the master of clickbait? A Master-Baiter

Vardhanam Daga : Don't judge a book by its cover doesn't apply anymore I guess.

MnMsandOreos : The weirdest thing my Netflix has ever done is what it did to the Shrek thumbnails. I was just searching for Shrek two, like you do, and I realized that all of my Shrek thumbnails were weirdly.... sexual......? The thumbnail for Shrek was from the scene when Farquaad is in bed looking at the princesses on the magic mirror. The specific frame is him, holding up his drink, his shirt off with the covers over him which makes him look naked, with his eyes half closed and smirking, which is a seduction face if I ever saw one. The thumbnail for Shrek Two was from the beginning of the movie when Shrek and Fiona are on their honeymoon and they’re on the beach. The frame is them in their swimsuits, staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. This one was the most romantic of the weirdly sexual Shrek covers. Finally, Shrek the Third was of a scene where Donkey wakes Shrek up at night. The frame shows Donkey at Shrek’s bedside, smiling at Shrek who is shirtless, again with the covers on him which makes him look naked. I don’t know what this says about me but it gave me a good laugh

issa osama : Corporations are marketing geniuses and it’s kind of terrifying because they know exactly who you are and what you like and hate.

Jarl Ballin' : The %Match is useless. Netflix needs to bring back user ratings...

_Bob McCoy : *Netflix Recommends: **_The 40-Year-Old Virgin_*

Phaden Swan DeMil : This explains why my thumbnails are so queerbaity

Stephanie Hale : *This was a good educational video in the world of AV testing, AB testing, Image processing/recognization, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc. Tech people will love this video.*

SideNote : I remember KaptainKristian once said that YouTubers need to learn making thumbnails from Netflix.

Dylan Tallchief : 4:23 Jesus christ, it's Jason Bourne

Rhidian D : I think Netflix thumbnails are reducing the likelihood of finding what you actually want to watch. There have been so many times I've scrolled past a movie I've been wanting because I didn't recognise the cover image. Netflix needs to focus less on shoving content down our throats and make finding things for ourselves easier.

chaz32 : I noticed one day that almost my entire Netflix cover art selection was moody middle aged blokes staring into the camera... thrilling stuff they all looked the bloody same.

Joseph Hanrahan-newton : I can remember when they just used the DVD box art.

Axel : “It’s like that when Netflix asks you “Are you still watching?”, you will be.” I feel so called out

Philip Molina : At the end of the day I'll still just watch the office.

Suleiman Mustafa : As a data scientist that works on image processing and machine learning this is fascinating

B_Potassio : explains why I was queerbaited by a show with a thumb with two girls almost kissing and said show had a...... straight romance

empty sky : Why can’t they just use the movie posters? They have all the requirements (main actors, appealing composition) and actually look good???

Paul Banta : All this is lost on me, I've already decided what I want to watch on Netflix before I even open the window. Those full-motion thumbnails are more of a nuisance thatn anything and they haven't lured me to anything I haven't already planned to see.

Quick Fix - Thought Provoking Videos : That's why they recommend me always the same shows and movies! They're just A/B testing all their thumbnails on me!

HSalik : I noticed this myself because whenever I open Netflix, the thumbnail changes for every show every time

Lakshay Punj : Wow. Can't imagine how much code that takes

Our Founding Liars : I was wondering why all my thumbnails said “cease your investigation”

SUPER SAMMICH : I never knew this. Interesting...

Will Schoder : Everyone should watch Thomas Flight's video on this. Same topic, but he actually gathers examples across different Netflix accounts.

Crick1952 : Anyone else go to their Netflix account and try to see what thumbnails they have? Mine seem to all be groups of people in an activity. Am I interested in friends because I have none 😭

Tiny Viking Productions : This was really interesting. I wonder if Netflix ever changes the thumbnails for a particular show they try to get you to watch but maybe you skipped over because it wasn’t as visually stimulating.

Se en : Not gonna lie, this was fascinating.

King and Peasant : Why would you be unwilling to watch *another* episode of The Office?

Eni A. : I always watch like Korean, Chinese, and Japanese tv shows so like the thumbnails are always a couple like kissing or a hot guy lol

Rosie D : 2:11 look at the magnify glass 😏

IJSONSINO : I wish Netflix could get my attention less by manipulation and more by just producing good shows

Trademark Moxie : My neflex thumb nails are usually of minorities who are almost never the main charaters of the films. It is of course not a requirement that everything I watch has nonwhite main charaters but I dislike being decieved. So I never trust the thumb nails only go on trailers and synopsis. I wish Netflix had human curators rather than machines. Its extremely difficult to find new intresting things to watch becaus their recommendations are atrocious.

Travis J Hayes : So, graphic designers who work on the movie posters and iTunes/BD/etc versions of the artwork just have their work crapped on by Netflix regularly then. I can understand being able to do it for originals like Stranger Things and Sabrina, among others, but altering or creating new artwork that doesn't even necessarily align with, say, 20th Century Fox's marketing of a movie seems like it blurs a line into some shady deals.

King o Time : I hate these custom Thumbnails, because I apperantly watch content fron different genres and almost every week the thumbnails change, becaue I watched TWO action movies or some other thing that's different from the rest.

Lalit Kumar : Summary : Ignore thumbnails while choosing a series.

Sarah A : my netflix doesnt have coco :( Does anyone know why?

Abby : “Barely recognizable supporting actress”?? Wasn’t she the main villain?

mysteriousfox88 : black netflix has the most insane thumbnails

Rubin Wells : So many of these shows aren’t in Australia

navya cherukuri : Netflix could become the next platform for creators (like a new and better YouTube)...a free service with ads focused on the creators...they could really be taking advantage of the negative energy on the YouTube platform Their AI seems better already Edit: it would be separate from the paid service primary for TV shows and Movies so that it's more open platform (im not completely aware of the technicals)

RandomdudeZ9 : Guess what ad I get. A NETFLIX AD.

Oliver Salvador : My thumbnails usually presents the gay couple/character on the show/movie... 🤔