Rewinding time and revisiting the moments you spent on Netflix

Swetaa Suresh & Shehan Suresh

Inspiration

Netflix. I can guarantee most of you have heard of this multi-billion dollar corporation and have probably used it at one point in your life. With COVID-19, many of us either purchased a subscription with them or increased our usage of the platform. I’ve always wanted to know how my Netflix usage was throughout the year. And with Spotify Wrapped being released quite recently, I thought I could do the same with Netflix.

Product

Features

The application is a Chrome extension which allows you to see your usage throughout the year. Initially when the idea was thought of, I brainstormed features that people would enjoy seeing. This included total watch time, weekly/monthly usage, top genres watched, binged shows, favourite movie/show and number of movies/shows watched. I brought these ideas to Shehan, and discussed the implementation and feasibility of certain ideas. One idea that we dismissed was the concept of favourite movie/show, since we could not determine a suitable metric to determine this. More features were included as the product was being made. The features and calculation metrics are listed below.

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Features that could have been calculated differently include “Top 3 Binged Shows” and “Top 5 Genres”. The binged shows could have been calculated by number of episodes rather than show time (minutes). However, it was more accurate by doing it time based, since episodes vary in length. Genres followed the same principles and could have been calculated using number of shows/movies instead. In that case, movies have the same value as a single episode in a show, which did not produce the same results.

Design

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Using Figma, I constructed the original design. This was made to fit a regular desktop size. After discussing with the developer, we agreed to reduce space between the boxes until there was no space, then reduce number of columns until it reached one.

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The final product can be seen above. A few changes were made including charts. The charts were changed after the initial design to add vibrance and fit the appropriate axis.

Technical Challenges

The Netflix Shakti API is not public, which means that there is no official documentation for its usage. This meant digging through countless Github repositories for other people’s usage of the API. Another challenge was learning that the API is only accessible from a Netflix domain, hence why the final product is a chrome extension (the JavaScript is executed when the extension redirects you to https://www.netflix.com/settings/viewed?rewind=true). However, once the above 2 challenges were overcome, collecting the data and manipulating it to our liking was fairly simple. With all the viewing data available along with the ability to request box art images and additional data about various movies and shows, we were able to architect a product portraying many cool insights for our users.

Next Steps

For future updates, we were thinking about looking at the statistics of all years. This would allow the user to see the difference in usage from the beginning of their subscription to the current date. In addition to that, we want to add an active tab to display the current watch stats for the year. This would include different features such as recent films, current shows, and top genres of the month.

Thank you for reading until the end. Please go check it out here!

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Aspiring Product Manager

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