Originally Posted by Sumergo
I'm not picking you out personaIly, I just don't understand the concept of "please tell me what I should watch, read and hear".
When I read a book, I look at its bibliography and research noted books for possible further interest. It's a tree structure - read, research, read some more linked options, continue. I do the same with movies. The search criteria might be based on genres (crime, conspiracy, nature, science fiction, whatever) or directors, main actors, themes and so on. What I don't do, is to wait for someone else to offer me (an often ad-laden) view of "what I might need".
You say: "We will desperately need a way of finding content we want to watch". I don't get that.
Help me here. You're an individual capable of doing their own research, according to their own individual needs and requirements, - right?
I do the same with books, it requires some research, and it's worthwhile as it's a bigger investment of time to read the book. But there are also many more books than there are films. It's easy to find books from looking at the most popular books in a genre, noted books, as you say - and it's easy if you share some interests with a few friends and they point me towards something I might like.
We think we're choosing well, but actually we're using a few coarse guidelines, plus a generic popularity. There are some great authors who have published for years before they get "discovered" on some new book, and suddenly all their old books sell brilliantly too. The quality of their content hasn't changed at all, it's just that nobody knew they were there. We need to find those books (or movies, or music).
Right now Apple provides some coarse insight into movies. Top rentals, themes like "Supernatural Romance" (in my iTunes today), genres. You can jump from a movie to its actors to other films with those actors.
Like you I research my movies. But there's more to it.
Most of us are "lazy viewers", and even when we research what we want to watch, we're not researching it as thoroughly as we think. People used to go to a video store to rent movies, but it was well known that older movies that are coming on TV this week will rent much better for that week and a few more weeks - so people are selecting based on advertising elsewhere and selecting predictable shows, and that's when they had a whole video store to choose from.
TV channels have for years tried to theme our content too. They position TV series consecutively that are similar to keep viewers... but in effect they're trying to group shows that will probably be of similar interest. Trick a viewer into watching enough of something new to get interested. Advertise a show in a related show.
You say you don't let others tell you what to watch - but you would be a very rare individual if you didn't ever watch a TV channel, or didn't glance at the main lists of movies on AppleTV (or whatever your device is). Rotten Tomatoes is similarly telling you what you might like, in its own way. If all you do is start with a genre with all shows equally represented... I don't even know where you'd find that, they always put the most popular at the top. Viewing by actor is more even handed though.
I'm saying that if I open a Genre, I want to see the films in that genre that I'd be most likely to like, based on my history of viewing (automated) and my manual rankings. I'd also rather not just have genre lists in the first place - I'd rather the broad themes I like to be the groupings I start with (similar to Genres, but more customised).
I don't want the TV to tell me what to watch. Just present better options to me.
You'll also notice that the vast majority of "choice" is presented as a grid of options, and people think that's good. And yet TV for years has let us browse our choices by surfing through channels, and by providing familiar EPGs that show us what the channels think we're likely to want to watch at certain times. Our Video-on-Demand choices aren't being presented effectively as a list of choices - if I want to watch a movie, why isn't there some emulation of the ability to surf from channel to channel, seeing what catches my eye? Maybe "surfing" our choices is showing some point in the first 5 minutes of 100 movies I might like. Maybe that's watching a full screen trailer, and after a few seconds clicking "next", until you find something interesting. In either case I don't want totally random movies, I'd like it to heavily weight it towards my interests, and throw some randoms (including ones my friends have loved but I might not!).
Hope that clarifies... a bit long winded sorry! :)
(edited to clarify)
Edited by GregAlexander - 8/16/13 at 9:36pm