The unknown price of working for Netflix (II): Netflix algorithm destroys user content - Not long ago it transcended Michaela Coel's resounding refusal to accept the conditions that Netflix imposed to finance and distribute I may Destroy you. Signing with the company would have implied relinquishing its intellectual property rights to the series. Michaela Coel's story had a happy ending. The project went ahead thanks to funding from BBC One and HBO, who bowed to all their demands, with a result unanimously acclaimed by critics and the public.

But what happens in the case of those creators who decide to sign up with Netflix and accept its conditions but the production does not develop as expected?

In this situation have found the showrunners Avatar: The Last Airbender, real action series based on the popular animated series Nickelodeon channel. Bryan Konietzko and Dante DiMartino reported a few days ago through their respective blogs and Instagram accounts that, two years after signing the agreement with the platform, they were leaving the project due to prolonged creative differences with respect to it.

Konietzko said that Netflix had signed them under the promise to support their vision at all times, something they had not fulfilled. The overall management of the project, they said, had resulted in a negative and unsupported environment. Their march was the culmination of the deep frustration they both felt when realizing that they could not control the creative direction of the series. Netflix's brief response to the departure of both creators was not long in coming. In a press release they stated that they felt a deep respect and admiration for Konietzko and DiMartino's work with the animated series, and that they had no intention of suspending production of the series, which would continue with the linking of Nickelodeon.

Netflix algorithm destroys user content

Although the departure of the creators caught everyone by surprise, Netflix's decision was understandable because the exploitation of The Last Airbender had only just begun. They hoped, with the original series newly added to the catalog and a very activist fandom (something for which the company has a deep weakness) generate attention on intellectual property and create a suitable breeding ground for the premiere of the new series. A success that they intended to reap not only among the fans of always but also among all those who had discovered the story thanks to the platform. There were too many interests involved to suspend the project because of creative discrepancies.

And, ultimately, they didn't need to because Konietzko and DiMartino had done just what Coel decided not to do: to cede all the intellectual property rights of their creation in exchange for a large amount of money.

It is not the first time that the artistic community has warned about the dangers that the interests of these platforms pose to creative freedom. Rodrigo Teixeira, producer of Call Me By Your name, was already resounding during a round table at the Locarno festival to say that these services had ceased to be indie-friendly. Their appetite for profit was leading them to destroy the artistic integrity and vision of the creator.

What seems to have more "authority" when it comes to making decisions within a project has become reality the worst fear of many: now it decides the algorithm.

Read more: The Hidden Face of the multimillion-dollar streaming war between Netflix, Amazon or Disney: the graveyard of invisible programs

Netflix is aware that it needs the creators of the series, especially renowned, because they are the parents of the universe. The advances become a good investment because of its ability to mobilize the public of its previous successes and, at the same time, because of its potential to generate a very profitable business if the series is well designed and succeeds, that the case of the company translates into something very simple: attract new subscribers and retain those who already have. In both cases renowned creators (like Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy or Alex Pina himself) or successful intellectual property (like the case of Avatar: The Last Airbender) are a very solid foundation. But let's not forget that this company operates on a cement called big data. And that what, to a large extent, decides the structure of the building are the algorithms.

Netflix is a technology company that has embarked on the adventure of producing content. And the role that data plays in its operation is paramount. Not only do they condition the appearance of your interface (its famous recommendation content). It also guides the content you buy, the price you pay for it, the decisions to produce a particular original and whether or not it is renewed.

And yes, also how it occurs.

The one who raised the Partridge was Cary Fukunaga, creator and director of Maniac for Netflix. In an interview for GQ he said that "as a data company, they know exactly how their users see content. So they can review what you're writing and tell you ‘we know, based on our data, that if you do this you will lose this amount of viewers. This is a different process than the typical Note meetings ( ... ). The algorithm argument always wins at the end of the day. The question is whether we want to make a creative decision at the expense of losing the audience."

Fukunaga stated that the algorithm made him change an episode with several jumps in the narrative. Although in his head the proposal seemed interesting and funny was discarded because the algorithm indicated that mid-season such a complex episode would have broken the discipline of binge watching, that is, the marathon of episodes. The change to preserve the integrity of the binge and prevent the viewer from leaving the series, was taken based 100% on what seemed to prefer the audience to want. Fukunaga, all things considered, said he was convinced that, in that case, the algorithm was right.

Read more: the audiovisual industry is preparing for the cascade effect that will cause the new normality

The wars of streaming have made user loyalty the most precious asset. With so much information about what we like and our viewing habits, we are unknowingly drawing a valuable map with our audiovisual preferences that each company employs for its own benefit, creating “tailor-made " programs, more addictive with the sole goal of wanting to pay a month more monthly fee.

The interference of algorithms in our lives is already an indisputable reality. And it confronts the Creator with a clear dilemma: What is more worth: get a product with more commercial travel or my soul?.

End of Netflix algorithm destroys user content


More on:

How to use offline mode in Google Chrome on Windows, iOS and Android

Google Chrome is one of the best browsers today and for many reasons. Not only because of the ease offered by the extensions that can be installed or disabled if you are not convinced or the fantastic behavior that it has on PC, except for certain occasions when it slows down the computer by its consumption of resources.

One of its most useful features, although currently in beta phase, is that Google Chrome allows you to use an offline mode that will allow you to read any type of information you have saved while you had the Internet without being connected.

To enable Chrome Offline Mode on Windows or Mac, follow these simple steps:

  • Go to this URL chrome: / / flags/ # enable-new-download-backend and in the drop-down button choose Enabled.
  • Now simply restart the browser for the changes to apply.

If everything went well, any page you recently visited will be cached and you can open it without any problems to read the content whenever you want.

Chrome's offline mode on iOS and Android is a bit different, as it doesn't require any extension or hidden functionality, but you'll have to save it in your reading list.

On an Apple device, simply tap the Share icon in the top right corner and tap read later. The article will be saved automatically and to access click on the three horizontal dots in the lower right corner and there you will see the Reading List option.

To use Chrome Offline Mode on Android, just go to the menu and tap the down arrow to download the corresponding file. Give it when it's finished downloading and you'll have it inside your smartphone.

Once you've done this, you'll know how to turn on Google Chrome's offline mode and browse your favorite articles without having to have Internet.

You may also find interesting: