FNE Innovation: Agoodmovietowatch - the Alternative to Streaming Algorithms


    Film New Europe continues to invite leaders of innovative AV projects to share their projects directly with its readers. Today, our guest is Bilal Zouheir, founder of agoodmovietowatch.com, which recommends “highly-rated but little-known” films to stream. “Netflix algorithms are marketing tools that sell to viewers instead of helping them. We want to help them”, says Bilal Zouheir. The project is funded by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme.

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    About agoodmovietowatch:

    Agoodmovietowatch recommends “highly-rated but little-known” films to stream. We do this by curating the hundreds of quality titles that get dismissed by inbuilt algorithms on popular streaming platforms.

    Across these great titles that get overlooked, there tends to be two common factors: they are not produced by the streaming platform and, more often than not, they shed light on diverse stories and experiences that are underrepresented in mainstream cinema. This is why a pillar of agoodmovietowatch’s service is our Spotlight section, which offers five paths of curation: LGBTQ+ films, BIPOC films, Immigrant films, Women stories, and European stories.

    The promotion and development of agoodmovietowatch are supported under the MEDIA - Creative Europe’s programme ‘Promotion of European Audiovisual Works’.

    Our readership:

    Our half a million readers trust agoodmovietowatch with recommendations every month, a number that is growing. According to our research, only 1% of our readers prefer streaming algorithms to our service:

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    Is the fact that agoodmovietowatch is curated by humans important to you? (qualitative survey of 246 website visitors)

    And when readers come to agoodmovietowatch, they have one thing in mind, discovery:

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    What do you hope to achieve when you visit agoodmovietowatch? (qualitative survey of 246 website visitors)

    New research shows that the average U.S. household now has seven streaming subscriptions –– an astounding number, considering that just ahead of the lockdown in April 2020, it was four.

    More than ever before, audiences are looking for new content to stream and on new platforms. That’s why we partnered with the independent streaming database Justwatch, which allows us to offer recommendations for films and shows on every major streaming platform.

    A Google Chrome extension:

    Streaming services' algorithms prioritise profit over quality content, and they have gotten better at monopolising viewers’ attention. This has a diminishing impact on cultural conversations. Talking with my friends and family, we realised we never recommend films to each other anymore. It also means a platform like ours has a challenging existence outside of the platforms themselves.

    In order to face up to the challenge, agoodmovietowatch is currently developing a Google Chrome extension that will be integrated with popular streaming services, so audiences can get recommendations without leaving the VOD platforms.

    This extension will dismiss low-rated films and shows, which streaming algorithms frustratingly market to viewers. It will offer a quality-focused streaming experience, the first one of its kind.

    A mobile application:

    Agoodmovietowatch is also working to expand to mobile offer more ways to access great recommendations and connect to viewers who prefer mobile over desktop.

    Visit our website: agoodmovietowatch.com
    Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/agoodmovietw
    Press contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Bilal ZouheirAbout the author:

    Bilal Zouheir founded agoodmovietowatch in 2013, when he discovered that Netflix’s corporate algorithm was pushing only a fraction of available quality titles to viewers. As someone who owes a lot to cinema (including his knowledge of English), he felt compelled to build a platform devoted to making the very best films and shows, not just ‘marketable’ ones, more immediately accessible.

    Before agoodmovietowatch, Bilal worked for Microsoft and IBM in Paris, and holds a Master’s degree from NEOMA Business School in Rouen, France. He is now based in Berlin, Germany.