Netflix is taking its sweet time giving away a million bucks to whoever can help engineers figure out a better way to match customers with movies.
After nearly three years and 43,000 entries, Netflix closed the contest yesterday at 18:42:37 UTC. The closing time has to do with some very complicated math that isn't worth getting in to.
The Los Gatos-based company currently uses a system called CinematchSM to help predict which movies its customers will like based on a survey about the movies they like and dislike.
The contest was held in hopes of finding something that would one-up that system.
Netflix provided anonymous rating data and if the contestants could beat Cinematch by 10-percent or more, they qualified for the contest. The participant with biggest increase over Cinematch wins.
Along with the money comes bragging rights of course. And the company requires the winner share the method data point by data point.
As the company announced the contest was closed it also reported:
"Qualified entries will be evaluated as described in the Rules. We look forward to awarding the Grand Prize, which we expect to announce in a few weeks. However if a Grand Prize cannot be awarded because no submission can be verified by the judges, the Contest will reopen. We will make an announcement on the Forum after the Contest judges reach a decision."
Netflix did not list a date when a winner would be announced, but said to check back in the coming weeks.
As they say on TV: stay tuned.