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Leanflix tells you what’s streaming across nearly every site
Clear your schedule.
The current wealth of streaming options has offered us access to countless films and TV shows, but it also means that if you want to watch a movie, you have to jump around two, three, or maybe four sites to find it.
A new startup founded by Rob Hamilton, Guy Hamilton, and Zack Kanter and developed by Quyet Tran Bui, Leanflix lets you search Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and HBO Go to see if a specific movie is streaming, or you can click on a title on the main page and see where it’s streaming. Leanflix also offers Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb scores as well as a Leanflix score. Kanter told the Daily Dot the site became a reality out of necessity.
“I found that it was getting harder and harder to find movies worth watching on Netflix and other streaming services,” he said. “I spent hours sifting through thousands of movies in order to find a hidden gem that I hadn’t seen.
“My two cofounders had the same problem—what we really wanted was a single place where we could see all of the movies available on Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and iTunes, and we wanted them sorted from best to worst. Sorting movies from best to worst turned out to be much harder than it sounds. We eventually developed a machine-learning algorithm that analyzes critic and user ratings as well as other variables, and it generates a simple score on a 1-10 scale.”
The site’s still in beta, so there are a few kinks being worked out. A chat box in the bottom right-hand corner collects users suggestions and site issues. One of the recurring ones seems to be: Where’s Hulu? (They’re working on it.)
Kanter says Leanflix “started as a side project, and it has exploded since we launched it a couple weeks ago—we signed up 5,000 users within days of launching.” He adds that the site won’t just be a tool for discovering whether or not Snatch is on Netflix (it is). He wants to make it a kind of a social network:
“Our bigger vision is to build a community around discovering, discussing, and rating movies and TV shows.”
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.