Hollywood and the TV industry spend a lot of money figuring out what people wanted to watch.
It was a hit and miss. Strong shows or movies could offset the weaker ones. Executives could give a potential TV show (eg: Seinfeld or Cheers) or another so-so movie a sequel. In hopes that it’ll find an audience.
Fortunately, once the technology companies like Amazon Video, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube arrived, content became an algorithm. An algorithm based on analytics, designed to help these companies gain insights into their customers.
The perfect example?
A) 30 millions “plays” a day from its subscribers (when they pause, rewind and fast forward)
B) 3 million searches its subscribers does
C) data its subscribers generate (when they watch the shows, on what devices) and
D) the viewers metadata that describes the talent, action, tone and genre
Netflix was able to use all the data to create original content. Original content such as “House of Cards.” “Orange is the New Black.” “The Crown.”
That’s the power of big data.
Big data that allows you to create hits.
NB. Need more proof that big data and the algorithm can create content and drive subscriber growth? Netflix’s recent quarter. Where the company gained 5 million international users. 2 million US users.
Bulygo, Zach “How Netflix Uses Analytics To Select Movies, Create Content and Make Multimillion Dollar Decisions” https://blog.kissmetrics.com/how-netflix-uses-analytics/
Carr, David “Giving Viewers What They Want,” February 24th, 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/business/media/for-house-of-cards-using-big-data-to-guarantee-its-popularity.html
Finimize “Netflix, too busy to Netflix n’ chill,” January 19th, 2017 email newsletter