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How much time do you spend picking out what to watch next?

The vast amount of streaming content practically renders us useless to pick our our next show — here’s how both the algorithm and the human aspects help us make our decision.

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The most creative enthusiasts, cultural critics, and cinephiles have a lot to say when it comes to talking shop about film, television, and Hollywood. In this three-part series, Streaming Straight Talk, Vox Creative and Dell will dive into the hot topics that define this new golden age of streaming and consuming content.

Forty-five hours per year: That’s about how long the average American consumer spends choosing what to watch next. You may not think those 7.4 minutes per day amount to much, but on the whole, Americans spend more time than ever before simply choosing the next title to click “play” on.

Why? The onslaught of streaming platforms has much to do with it (looking at all of you who spent the weekend on the couch with their new Disney+ subscription), but so do the algorithms that fuel the paralyzing “watch next” conundrum. But even in the age of the algorithm, humans still play a key roll in recommending content. And platforms like Netflix and HBO now offer even more tools that include streaming recs curated by humans. So the question becomes: Which serves us better to choose what to watch next (and lets us gain that 45 hours of our year back), the human or the machine?

In this episode of Streaming Straight Talk, the roundtable of panelists — Jordan Carlos, comedian; Angelique Roche, pop culture journalist; and Ben Selkow, filmmaker — share their personal recommendations for the shows they’re bingeing and weigh in on the difference of word-of-mouth versus the algorithm. You may just want to pick up one of these new shows after watching.