Decoding the Defenders: How Netflix knows which Marvel hero you like

It’s more complex than knowing your favourite genres, that's for sure

Did you know one out of eight viewers never watched a Marvel superhero TV show before watching Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage or Iron Fist on Netflix?

And this isn’t limited to heroes either - one in five Stranger Things fans never watched any horror previously, and one in seven Black Mirror watchers went into science fiction without a clue about the genre before exploring the dark side of tech.

More than just genres

There’s a bunch of algorithms that go behind the shows recommended to you at the top of your Netflix page. “To make it easier to find stories you love, even in seemingly unlikely places,” said Todd Yellin, Vice President of Product at Netflix.

So if you’ve been spending the weekend catching up on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage or Iron Fist before the debut of the Defenders, especially when it seemingly popped up among your recommend shows - it’s not by chance at all. In fact, 80% of all shows are discovered from Netflix recommendations.

And hey, if you don’t like a show, Todd says you can always give it a thumbs down and it’ll never appear on your feed again. But if you accidentally clicked it, you can always search the show once more from the search tab.

Want to know how Netflix leads you to that Marvel Universe binging gateway ? Like a personality quiz result on your Facebook feed, here’s what you may have been watching before discovering your favourite Marvel superhero on Netflix.

Daredevil - You love anti-heroes and shows with moral ambiguity

If Daredevil pops up on your Netflix recommended playlist, then that’s probably because you’re a fan of stories with lots of heavy political intrigue like House of Cards, or shows that involve the messy thin lines of family royalty like Bloodline.

Or maybe you started watching Daredevil because you’re a big fan of characters who walk on the grey line between a hero or villain, like Walter White in Breaking Bad or Dexter Morgan in Dexter.

Jessica Jones - You love strong females, sharp humour and dark crime

It’s no surprise that stories with strong female leads like Orange is the New Black draws viewers to Jessica Jones, but it could also be because of you like characters with sharp wit and smart humour, just like Master of None, Ridiculous Six, and John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid.

Psychological thriller fans who find themselves knee-deep in dark criminal worlds on their usual Netflix binge weekends like Making a Murderer, will also find Jessica Jones among their recommended shows.

Luke Cage - You love dangerous worlds and complex consequences

You’re the kind of person who can’t sit still when faced with corruption and always want to expose the dark side of society, like the evils of technology in Black Mirror and the question of guilt in Amanda Knox - that’s why the no-nonsense Luke Cage appears on your Netflix account.

Or maybe you spend nights after work immersed in Netflix shows about dangerous worlds, like the cartel-ridden Narcos or the dystopian Black Mirror.