We all know cabin fever is better than COVID-19 fever, especially with so many options on our TVs and computers to keep us entertained. But how do we know what is worth the time diving into? Well, reading L.A. Weekly‘s Entertainment section is the best way to learn about what to watch, of course.
But as you click through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, cable, network and On Demand options, it can be overwhelming to say the least. The more help figuring out what suits you, the better. Ranker — the popular reader-driven site that ranks pop culture — is here to do just that with Watchworthy, its new free app providing personalized TV recommendations and watchlists from over 200 entertainment services.
“I think we can all agree there’s so much great content out there but it’s hard to keep up,” Ranker CEO and founder Clark Benson tells L.A. Weekly. “And for cord cutters, it’s become a really cumbersome and fragmented experience navigating between the services. Each service only recommends shows based on their own relationship with me, often favoring their own originals.”
Watchworthy uses Ranker’s proprietary learning platform, correlating data gathered from 1 billion votes on the site. According to the press materials, in just 60 seconds of users liking and disliking shows, the app can discern what we are likely to love or hate across the networks and streaming services, with “accurate probability.”
The company touts Watchworthy as providing a lot more depth of selection then, say, Netflix’s recommendation section. They’re positioning it as transformative, basically turning our phones and tablets into smart personalized remotes with recommendations of both old and new shows that match personal tastes with percentages of likelihood for what might be worth our time. The app also filters shows by service, genre, runtime and MPAA ratings, Ranker’s TV lists, cross-platform watchlists and more.
“Watchworthy is based on voting data from over a billion votes on 50,000 entertainment lists on Ranker.com, so recommendations are across over 200 services. For instance, we know that fans of Ozark on Netflix have a high probability of liking Good Girls on NBC,” says Benson.
So is it really that helpful? We loaded Watchworthy on our iPhone when it debuted on Monday and thus far, we’ve found it fun and useful, if not life-changing. The app setup starts with a Tinder-like selection process wherein you swipe left or right on shows you like. From there, many lists are provided based one certain criteria and timely sub-headings: “Shows for Self Quarantine,” “Shows To Distract You,””Shows Only Smart People Appreciate.”
In terms of accuracy, Watchworthy’s picks for this writer were pretty spot-on, we think; despite its popularity, we’ve never hunkered down on AMC’s The Walking Dead and FX’s Sons of Anarchy was already an older show we planned to binge at some point. For us, Watchworthy serves as a reminder of stuff we’ve been meaning to get to, but held no big surprises. We won’t necessarily rely on it, but we’ll definitely use it during those nights when we just can’t decide.
“In the current state of the world, people now have time to dedicate to their next binge and we have the app to help them find it,” promises Benson, who had been working on the application way before coronavirus forced us all indoors indefinitely and thus, made us more dependent on home entertainment than we could have imagined. “For better or for worse, Watchworthy couldn’t have come along at a better time as a lifeline for streamers.”
Watchworthy can currently be found at Watchworthy.app on your mobile device and App stores, compatible with most phones and tablets.