Understanding what images make you click on a show is a particular obsession of Netflix.
The company has found that images, much more than text descriptions, are a driver of which shows you choose to binge and which you pass up. And over the course of Netflix’s research on the subject, it has found a few noteworthy tidbits about what pictures you like, according to a recent feature in Fast Company.
The most surprising finding is that people actually respond better to pictures of recognisable villains than heroes. This holds true for genres ranging from children’s shows to action movies.
People are also drawn to characters that display complex emotions in the image, according to Netflix.
Images of people work, but having too many people in the shot doesn’t.”While ensemble casts are fantastic for a huge billboard on the side of a highway, they are too complex at small sizes,” Nick Nelson, Netflix’s global manager for creative services, told Fast Company.
And don’t think the same images work in every country. French people are more drawn to artistic images, while Americans just want something that conveys the plot, according to Netflix.