There are some interesting points raised in this ClickZ story about how search and filters are being utilized in the online movie distribution market. For the most part, ecommerce sites like Blockbuster or Netflix have taken an either / or mindset to the process of finding films, asking consumers to rely either on pure search or driving them down a filtered path to their film choices by selecting ratings data, studios, genres or a number of other criteria.
Amazon is the rare exception that uses both strategies to help consumers find the films they’re looking for. Users can conduct a search initially but are then are given the option to utilize — what Chris Anderson calls — pre- or post-filters. Pre-filters are those that are designated by the content creator (genre, studio, et cetera). Post-filters, on the other hand, are recommendations provided by the site’s community after the content’s release. That’s where users can review other users’ opinions on films for recommendations like, “if you liked this, you might also like…”. Netflix does this particularly well, offering lists of other movies that are similar to those added to your queue, for instance.