Netflix Contest: Another Crowd Pleaser

In late 2006, Netflix (NFLX) essentially ran out of ideas. The company's movie-recommendation software was already renowned for suggesting rentals based on a customer's previous picks and those of others with similar tastes. But occasionally the predictive algorithms simply blew it, directing customers to films they ended up not liking. After several tries to improve the program internally fell short, Netflix went to the rest of the world for help.

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