How Netflix Uses Your Data to Create Hit TV Shows

by Rishi Shah on May 30, 2013

With free tools like Google Analytics everyone with a website is collecting “Big Data”. However, I’m amazed when companies use data to their advantage. The next few blog posts will be about how companies are leveraging data to dominate.

Netflix Website

Netflix is a company I’ve admired for years. Here are two ways they use data to their advantage:

#1 Create a HIT new TV Show

How Netflix created a HIT TV SHOW image

They knew their customers liked the actor Kevin Spacey, the director David Fincher, and a 1990 BBC mini series called “House of Cards. So, when Netflix wanted to launch a brand new show for their own audience they decided to do a remake of “House of Cards” staring Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher.

Salon has a great write up about this called “How Netflix is Turning Viewers Into Puppets”

#2 Make Streaming Speeds Faster

Battlestar Galactica Meetup Groups - Battlestar Galactica Meetups

Everyday Netflix analyzes and predicts which shows will be popular and in what location. For example if Netflix knows that the show Battlestar Galactica will be popular in Madison, WI they will load up that show on the high-speed flash storage drives near their servers in Madison, WI.

What companies do you know that are leveraging data? Please me know in the comments.

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irene hamilton June 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I am in the process of turning my latests novella into a TV sit com script, so all information if valuable.

You would ask what it is about…..think modern Archie Bunker. I am instantly set up to switch 20 hilarous chapters to 20 wild and crazy TV segments.

Happy days ahead!

a website specific to the task at hand is within days of completion.

Rishi Shah June 11, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Hey Irene, excited to see your TV segments when it comes out. cool idea!

Benji June 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Another great post Rishi. “Big Data” is amazing, and it almost seems too easy! I guess the hard part, or focus, lies in collecting the data. Most likely the algorithms used to collect, compile, and sort this data, are extremely complex. However, I feel it just helps big companies get bigger. Give me some data!

Rishi Shah June 11, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Thanks Ben! Collecting the data and then figuring out “What it means!” is the hard part.

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