I agree that considering your users idiots is not the way to go, and that’s also not the point I’m trying to make. I’m not saying users are too stupid to choose, but that there’s no alternative for when you’re not in the mood to choose. Of course there should be an option to choose, but everything in streaming today is relying on active choice of a specific piece of content.
Sure there are a few “we think you might like” lists floating around but that itself is usually presented as a list of thumbnails that you have to choose between.I would say active choice isn’t about having the intelligence to choose, but the engagement to gather up enough information about something in order to make that choice. Have you really never said “I just want to watch something” to a friend or family member, when you don’t want to have to actively choose or decide collectively what exact piece of content to watch?
There’s a big divide between coming home and turning on a comedy channel (I want to watch something funny) and coming home and choosing specific comedy content to watch (do I want to watch standup? Satire? Sketch shows? Talk shows? Cartoons? A funny movie? A funny show?)
That Spotify’s discover weekly, release radar and daily mix playlists are such enormous successes indicates that there is a desire to have content curated for you in an accessible way. The same thing can be said of “feeds” in social media: you don’t have to choose which friend you want to check up on everytime you go on facebook, you don’t have to choose which twitter user you want to read tweets from. Even books can be part of curated lists, subscription models or anthologies. We have youtube playlists, why don’t we have Netflix channels? Or even trailer playlists for choosing a show?