With users favoring Netflix’s recommendations and opposing targeted advertising, there is inconsistency in whether users prefer personalized information

In August of 2013, Netflix introduced the ability to create different profiles on a single Netflix account. This way each user can have its own personalized recommendations. Todd Yellin, Netflix's vice president of product innovation, observed that 75 to 80 percent of viewings on Netflix are a result of the recommendations, not the user's searches. The tailored recommendations have been key to keeping current users from switching services and bringing new customers to the service. In the fourth quarter of 2013 alone, the time right after the profiles were instituted, Netflix gained over 2.3 million new subscribers. Netflix has continued its growth throughout 2014, surpassing 50 million subscribers in July. It is clear that users have little problem with Netflix using personalized information; in fact, they prefer it in their browsing experience.

In contrast, a study by the Pew Research Center showed that users do not have this kind of attitude towards all personalized information. Their poll discovered that 68 percent of users viewed online targeting advertising in a negative way. They were not happy with being tracked and analyzed online, even if it meant that they would see more appealing advertisements. This loss of privacy is not something most customers are willing to sacrifice for the advantages of personalized information. Similarly, 73 percent of users were against search engines tailoring their search results based on their searching trends. Therefore, it is apparent that users have conflicting opinions on the use of personalized information depending on the situation.

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