Netflix is running a contest, The Netflix Prize, to improve it’s movie prediction software Cinematch. The team which provides a 10% improvement over the current system will be rewarded with a $1 million prize. And with the contest running for 5 years and annual prizes of $50,000 for the most improved offering, there is plenty of time to make plenty of money.
They are offering it as a way to learn about machine learning and recommendation systems. The Netflix Prize Leaderboard has over 11,000 contestants and only 200 submissions, the best of which offers only a 1% improvement, so there is much to be learnt yet.