Seven days after the start of the Netflix contest, the first entry appears on the leaderboard that beats the performance of Netflix's recommender engine Cinematch.
See also my earlier post, "Netflix offers $1M prize for improved recs".
Update: John Chandler-Pepelnjak notes in the comments to this post that a new entry for a team called "The Thought Gang" just qualified for the "Progress Prize" of $50k. Excellent.
Update: Two weeks after the start of the Netflix contest, there are now six entries that beat Netflix Cinematch. The top entry, "NIPS Reject", has a nearly 2% improvement. Impressive.
Update: Things are heating up. Eighteen days after the start of the contest, there are now thirteen entries that beat Netflix and nine that qualify for the Progress Prize. The top entry has a nearly 5% improvement, halfway to the Grand Prize of $1M.