One of the best things about Google TV is the way it integrates a wide range of streaming services to better surface content that’s relevant to you. Google is rolling out a new feature this week to make those recommendations even better by allowing you to tweak and share your preferences.
Currently, Google TV (which is available via the app or on devices like the Chromecast with Google TV) uses several methods for determining what shows or movies it thinks you might like. First, it looks at the list of services you’re signed into (which can be tailored in Settings), and then it looks at the shows and movies in your Watch List, any content you’ve marked as watched, and any ratings (thumbs up or thumbs down) you’ve left on a specific title.
But this week, Google TV is adding another method to help customize your recommendations in Settings called Content Preferences, which will display a handful of titles while allowing you to choose if you want to see “More like this” or “Less like this.” Presumably, by dialing in your likes and dislikes, Google TV can surface content that you might actually want to watch.
That said, I think Google may be fighting an uphill battle. A recent discussion between Gizmodo staffers revealed that many of us have trained ourselves to ignore content suggestions due bad or irrelevant recommendations in other apps or streaming services. Sections like Popular or Trending have their uses if you want to keep tabs on the current zeitgeist, but for everything else, show and movie recommendations are often a wasteland, with the recommended content in apps like HBO Max being a big turn-off for a number of us.
But as the streaming platform that currently has the best interface and integration with other streaming services, there’s always a chance Google TV might be able to break through. And if Google TV’s new feature can help prevent me from seeing suggestions to watch shows like “13 Reasons Why” for the 27th time, that will at least be a small win in my book.