Paid per view: Netflix hires people to watch, tag its content

Netflix taggers help the streaming video service build up its content recommendations by slapping keywords on movies and TV shows.

Wanted: TV/movie fanatic UK/Ireland to watch Netflix and "tag" content, using pre-defined words to describe plot, genre, tone and other qualities of each program watched. Flexible hours; can work from home. Apply jobs.netflix.com.

It may sound like a practical joke--or at least a Make $$$ Doing Nothing online scam--but it isn't. It's a legitimate job posting with Netflix, which uses taggers to view its programming and then categorise it. The streaming video service has about 40 taggers worldwide, slapping any one of a thousand or so keywords onto movies and TV shows. Those are feed into Netflix's recommendation system and used alongside advanced algorithms to create highly personalised content suggestions for Netflix's 50 million viewers.

Right now Netflix is hiring a new tagger in the UK/Ireland. This appears to be part of the online video provider's strategy to eliminate discreet channels on its service, replacing them instead with precise content recommendations.

Here are some key points from the Netflix tagger job posting--with plain English commentary added--for anyone hoping to turn their couch potato tendencies into a career.

  • A Netflix tagger job "would suit those with a passion for films and TV programmes, as evidenced by a degree in film or film history and/or experience directing, screening writing or filmmaking." Translation: People who actually know something about making film and TV programs, and have gone to the trouble of actively taking part in the industry, will be favoured.

  • "Applicants with analysis experience (e.g. as a critic or work in development) would also be well suited." This means writing/producing actual balanced critiques for the Web, print, radio and/or TV. Being an opinionated Internet troll likely won't be enough to land you the gig.

  • "Core skills and qualities of this role will include: Movie and TV content expert; Great organisational skills; Tenacious about follow-through and follow-up on a project; Detail-oriented." In other words, you may be getting paid to watch streaming videos, but it's still a job and you will be expected to deliver results.

  • "Preferred technical skills: Experience with Content or Asset Management Systems; Excel". Translation: You just won't be emailing in random thoughts at whim. Netflix has a content filing system that they expect you to learn and work within.

  • "Background: 1-2 years website/media/new media company experience; Movie or TV editorial experience a plus." Translation: Netflix wants knowledgeable taggers who actually know what they are talking about.

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