Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked: "we don't care about what's on TV; we only want to know what else is on TV." Netflix gives you a seemingly infinite amount of choices. So how do 81 million subscribers ever choose what to watch from their endless carousel of movie and TV titles?
By the artwork of the thumbnail.
Netflix researchers found that 82 percent of their users chose what to watch based on the look of the title's thumbnail. We are drawn to faces rather than scenery. Also, single faces, such as the main star of the show, drew more attention than a picture of the entire cast.
Another interesting result from the study: we have a super short attention span when choosing our entertainment. Netflix claims that if nothing catches your eye within 90 seconds, you lose interest and move on to some other activity. Not only that, we spend a mere 1.8 seconds considering each title. Said one Netflix executive, "we were surprised how little time we had to capture their interest."
Sometimes, too many choices are too much.