Business Idea: Use Netflix-style Recommendations Engine to target ads

by phil on Saturday Nov 22, 2008 12:43 AM
ideas for business

Basically, on both MySpace and Facebook, I list the movies I'm interested in, and yet the ads I receive are poorly targeted. I just saw a huge ad for Twilight on the front-page of MySpace, but I'm thinking to myself, I have no interest seeing that movie. Based on my tastes—The Royal Tenenbaums, Syriana, I <3 Huckabees, Adaptation—they should feed me an ad for Synecdoche, New York or Milk. MySpace would benefit by having some sort of Netflix-style recommendation engine that feeds me ads for movies that I'm likely to care about.

This may already exist, but if it does, then I'm curious why it's not being used. I remember the big hoopla about MySpace, from the business perspective, was that because users put in so much information in their profiles, they would be able to get more highly targeted ads. This isn't happening yet. Why? Is it maybe its because ad-targeting systems are too general? I honestly don't know.

Your business would approach 20th Century Fox and say, "okay, I can get your movie in front of anybody who likes these movies: insert list of 1,000 films. And based on our research, we can get you 100x higher click-thru rates than your other advertising."

I'm sure this is valuable because otherwise there wouldn't be a million dollar Netflix Prize to improve their recommendation engine.

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