Netflix adds profiles to better target viewers

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) is bringing back individual profiles. The company said Thursday that the profiles will give up to five people on each subscriber account the ability to get personalized viewing recommendations.

"No longer will your Netflix suggestions be mixed up with those of your kids, a significant other, roommates, or house guests," said Neil Hunt, Netflix's chef product officer.

It's not the first time Netflix has offered individual profiles, CNET pointed out. Netflix let DVD subscribers manage individual queues for DVD rentals but never brought the feature over to its streaming video product.

Hunt told CNET that Netflix felt the initial profiles product was too complicated and this version is meant to be simpler. "We didn't want to introduce something that we might have to change or take away [again]," he said.

Part of the goal is to make sure the movies and shows Netflix recommends are ones the viewer in front of the TV actually wants to watch. If Netflix knows exactly who is watching, it has a better chance of directing that person to a compelling show. "An important component of our service is that we can put something compelling in front of users and capture their interest in just a few seconds," Hunt told TechCrunch.

For more:
- read the Netflix press release
CNET had this report
TechCrunch had this report

Related articles:
On Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, TV trumps movies 
Netflix in talks for season 5 of 'Arrested Development' 
Netflix highlights 'family' programming