So many movies, so little time - group recommender systems can help

Nov 07, 2012, 10:07 ET from American Marketing Association

CHICAGO, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New, automated recommender systems can help consumers choose a movie which all members of a group will enjoy – and increase customer satisfaction.


Intelligent recommender systems can provide users with customized product recommendations based on personal preferences and previous behavior. Systems which generate recommendations to individual customers are available, for example, on online sales platforms such as Amazon. Group recommender systems however are not yet widely used. An extensive study conducted at the University of Muenster is the first to show that such group recommender systems can indeed generate additional value for users. These results could have far-reaching implications considering that recommender systems can be applied not only to the selection of movies, but also to other leisure activities including vacations, restaurants, and concerts.

The study appears in the September 2012 issue of the American Marketing Association's Journal of Marketing and had 460 participants. One member of each group was allowed to choose, from a selection of movies which none of the group members had seen, a movie to later be watched by the whole group. They were given recommendations which either incorporated only their own taste in films or also considered group preferences, or, in the case of the control group, no recommendations.

"Our results show that customers can make better choices and are more satisfied with a movie when they use group recommender systems," say authors Professor Dr. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, Dr. Andre Marchand and Paul Marx. "We are convinced that automated decision aids will become immensely important in the future. After all, the growing number of choices offered by the leisure and media industries is getting harder and harder to keep up with."

It's not easy to pick a good movie – even more so when it's for a group of people. But don't despair: Scientists at the University of Muenster have found that with the help of a group recommender system, you're more likely to choose a film your whole group will enjoy. Such systems give customized recommendations based on personal preferences and previous behavior, and, as their study shows, increase the likelihood of overall satisfaction in the group. Retailers can use them to generate additional value for customers, and the systems are also likely to be of benefit regarding other leisure activities which are seldom engaged in alone, including vacations, restaurant visits, and concerts.

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SOURCE American Marketing Association