From Blockbuster to Netflix

Part of Netlfix’s genius, the edge of its mighty hammer that demolished rival Blockbuster, is the company’s ability to get subscribers to watch its back list of movies. In most physical movie stores, stores like those that Blockbuster ran, movies that are not the current releases get relegated to be displayed spine-out on unforgotten, unvisited shelves. I was not able to lay on my hands any industry-wide statistics, but I remember my local movie rental guy telling me that something like 90% of his business were rentals of new releases, and for any particular film, a similarly high percentage of all the times it gets checked out occurs within the first nine months of its release. After this money-making time, a movie malingers in a store’s inventory, about as welcomed as a graduate student in the seventh year of his thesis writing.

Netflix broke this mold. Netflix’s inventory (its non-new releases) gets a much higher “watch” rate than any movie store, once-behemoth Blockbuster included. This means that Netflix’s movies, its assets, are much more valuable than Blockbuster’s as they keep earning money for Netflix long after Blockbuster’s has become a dead weight hanging on its corporate shoulders.

I’m Blockbuster. Books, Libs, and Scripts gets most of its visits minutes after a post gets published. Equivalently, a post gets most of its reads on the day it’s “born”. Once a younger sibling comes into the picture, even the most well-received-on-its-debut belle hardly ever see another visit. While there are exceptions — WordPress shows me that visits to a old post happen every now and then — I’m still very much a Blockbuster (in being a not very successful entity in attracting visitors to older content sense, not in being an awesome record breaking movie, in case that’s not clear).

I’d like Books, Libs, Scripts to be Netflix instead. The prime reason Netflix is able to leverage its back list so well is that it has a terrific movie recommendation algorithm based on movies a customer previously watched. This algorithm recommends plenty of non-new release movies and performs very well in getting customers to watch them. Hence, Netflix’s success.

So, WordPress, how about it, huh? Since I can’t very well write an algorithm like Netflix’s and get it implemented on the WordPress site on my own, I need you to do it. A widget-thingee of some sort? A “hey readers, if you like this post, maybe you’d like these other ones too. Check them out and stop T&B from bugging us” kind of thing. It could do great things for general WordPress readership, market valuation, and maybe even a buyout from Facebook. Be a hammer, ¬†WordPress! I thank you in advance.

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