An experiment by researchers at the Sorbonne aiming to gain a better understanding of “prime-space” dynamics on Netflix.
A Google Chrome extension made with ♥ at Sorbonne
The Prime-Space Chrome extension is part of an experiment by researchers at the Sorbonne aiming to identify the mechanisms that promote or endanger the visibility of content on Netflix. The overall goal is to assess the extent to which prominence carries economic weight in the audiovisual sector. In the same way that “prime-time” hours on linear television are known, branded as such, and in some countries even regulated, on-demand services also have to contend with the issue of prominence, only not so much in time as in space. We can then consider that the on-demand equivalent to “prime-time” television is “prime-space” for the likes of Netflix.
By installing this plugin on your Chrome browser, you will help us understand how a user’s behaviour impacts the types of contents that are promoted on his/her Netflix homepage.
HOW IT WORKS
The extension will collect the contents of every thumbnail that appears on your Netflix homepage. Each thumbnail contains a unique content identifier that allows us to know more about the title that is suggested to you by Netflix.
On top of that, each thumbnail is placed inside a specific area of the homepage. For example, The Fast and the Furious may appear inside the 5th thumbnail on the 2nd row of your homepage, and its position may change according to what you decide to watch next.
The Prime-Space extension collects, without requiring any action on your part, all the thumbnails and their positions as they appear on your screen, as well as which thumbnails you have clicked on.
WE RESPECT YOUR PRIVACY
We are fully GDPR-compliant.
All collected data is completely anonymised and there is no way for us to identify who the person behind each profile is. As soon as the extension is installed on your browser, your user ID is randomly generated. We have no access to your personal information and Netflix credentials.
In fact, you can even check what data we have collected from you by clicking on the 'Access your data' button on the extension menu.
The data that we collect is for research purposes only. We will not make any attempt to sell your data or transfer it to a third party.
If would like us to delete your data, you can drop us an email at nicolas.herbaut[at]univ-paris1.fr
We feel that in order to fully grasp the mechanisms at play in an on-demand, algorithmically-generated environment such as Netflix’, one needs to look at the “back-and-forth” interactions between viewers’ behaviour and the content provider. This extension is a key component of our research project, as it allows us to look at actual data both from viewers’ consumption patterns and from Netflix itself.
As soon as we have enough data to carry out meaningful analyses, we will "decommission" the extension, meaning that it will not work anymore, even if it is still installed on your browser.
Please don't hesitate to share this plugin with your friends, colleagues and family. The more the merrier!