Watchworthy - a new TV recommendation app - pins down your wants using Ranker data

Originally posted Thursday, March 26, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The TV options are so overwhelming, it’s easy to just stick to watching old episodes of “Parks and Recreation” or “Law & Order” or anything super comforting and non-challenging.

But Ranker’s new Watchworthy app, using a decade of data compiled by the ranking site, can help viewers find compatible shows to watch based on a mere 30-second sampling of shows thrown at you Tinder style. The survey has you swipe right if you like it, swipe left if you don’t, then offers you dozens of options.

“It’s to solve the problem of too many TV choices and too little time,” said Clark Benson, CEO and founder of Ranker, in an interview. “Even if you spend 10 hours a day watching new shows, there is still too much coming out to keep up.”

Watchworthy was made available in the Apple store for a free download this past Monday. 

You can develop your own watchlist from TV networks and more than 200 streaming services such as Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime and AppleTV+. 

After I did my own survey, it provided shows by topic such as “Shows for Self Quarantine,” recommending “Dexter,” “24,” “ER” and “Sherlock,” a mixed bag of options. Other categories included “Shows to Distract You” (”The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Antiques Roadshow,” “The Voice”) and “Best Shows Currently On Air” (”America’s Next Top Model,” “Robot Chicken,” “Arrow”). 

I could also typed in various shows to  see how “watchworthy” that show is for me personally. “The Hills” received a 54%. “Fleabag” got a 67%. “Glow” landed a 73%. “The Good Place” fell in at 80%. Some shows lacked enough data such as HBO’s “McMillions” or “The Outsider.”

My tastes are relatively mainstream but Benson said quirkier folks should get quirkier recommendations. 

The service, Benson said, covers old shows and recent shows from across services though something relatively new might take at least a few weeks to pop up. It is also agnostic. It favors no particular network or service. To make money, Watchworthy will receive referral fees from almost every service (an exception: Netflix.). 

You can also set to options of shows you have access to, filtering out services you don’t. 

The app will later be available on connected devices such as Amazon Fire, Roku and AppleTV. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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