Picture this—you put away the dishes, you clean up the kitchen, and it’s time to settle in for the night. Last week, you finished watching the hottest new series everyone’s talking about, and you’re thinking, “What do I watch now?”
Or maybe it’s your one night off, and you’re in the mood to watch something, but suddenly, anything that you had previously wanted to watch, you can’t remember. In fact, at this moment—the moment you want to watch something and relax—you can’t think of a single thing you want to watch.
And so you don’t watch anything—or you end up watching something you’ve already seen or start something you weren’t sure of, only to turn it off 15 minutes later. You feel unsatisfied and bummed out.
You see, deciding what to watch can take all the joy out of watching anything. It’s nothing new—-it’s called decision fatigue.
What is decision fatigue?
Decision fatigue is a phenomenon that occurs when a person is faced with making too many decisions in a short period of time, causing their decision-making abilities to become depleted. It’s the idea that as individuals make decisions throughout the day, their cognitive resources become exhausted, which can decrease the quality of their decision-making.
What does decision fatigue look like?
In the context of streaming, decision fatigue can occur when a viewer is faced with a large number of choices for what to watch—-and these days, given the number of streaming platforms, plus the constant release of content on them, it’s no surprise that audiences are having trouble making decisions and thus scrolling through options and making suboptimal choices.
There are five symptoms of decision fatigue:
Recklessness: When viewers are experiencing decision fatigue, they may start to make decisions impulsively and without careful consideration. This might lead to quickly renting something from a streaming platform just for the sake of renting something and then abandoning it once they find themselves unhappy with your choice.
Analysis Paralysis: On the other hand, a viewer might become stuck in a cycle of over-analyzing their decisions, causing them to become indecisive and unable to make a choice, which will lead to dissatisfaction and guilt for wasting time.
Overwhelm: Decision fatigue can also occur when a viewer is presented with too many options to choose from, too many platforms, and too much to stream. When there are too many choices, it can become overwhelming, making it difficult to make a decision.
Choosing the status quo: As a result of feeling exhausted from making decisions, viewers may choose to stick with the status quo, even if it’s not the best decision for them. For streaming, that looks like rewatching a series or movie someone has already seen.
Dissatisfaction: Decision fatigue can also lead to feeling ultimately unsatisfied with a viewer’s choices and cause them to second-guess their decisions, leading to feelings of anxiety and stress—things you shouldn’t be feeling while watching something.
How are streaming platforms mitigating decision fatigue?
To help alleviate decision fatigue, platforms often use recommendation algorithms to suggest content that is personalized to the user’s viewing history and preferences. This can help reduce the number of choices the user has to make and increase the likelihood that they will find something to watch quickly and easily. Additionally, some platforms may use categorization and filtering options to make it easier for users to find content that matches their interests.
How is Reelgood alleviating decision fatigue?
Cue is an AI assistant who understands your nuanced tastes in-depth. That’s right; Cue can tell viewers whether or not they should watch a movie or show based on an analysis of what they’ve watched, loved, liked, and disliked.
The assistant then matches it against Reelgood’s billions of data points on the preferences of over 100 million users to tell viewers why they should watch or skip any movie or show.
Reels combine a linear TV-watching experience with all the options and recommendations from streaming. Just as users scroll social media feeds, Reels offers users a sneak peek into the world of each title, where they will experience a rich animated video sequence, including the trailer.
And these are just two of the products we’re currently working on—there are many more to come. After all, streaming shouldn’t be hard, and we aim to help it not be.