How to Give Viewers What They Want

Description: In the television business, there is no such thing as a sure thing. You can have a gold-plated director, a bankable star and a popular concept and still, it’s just a roll of the dice.  Or is it?


Date: Feb 24, 2013


Netflix, which has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, ran the numbers. It already knew that a healthy share had streamed the work of Mr. Fincher, the director of “The Social Network,” from beginning to end. And films featuring Mr. Spacey had always done well, as had the British version of “House of Cards.” With those three circles of interest, Netflix was able to find a Venn diagram intersection that suggested that buying the series would be a very good bet on original programming.  Big bets are now being informed by Big Data, and no one knows more about audiences than Netflix. A third of the downloads on the Internet during peak periods on any given day are devoted to streamed movies from the service, according to Sandvine, a networking provider. And last year, by some estimates, more people watched movies streamed online than on physical DVDs.  Read Rest of Story 

Questions for Discussion:

1. Can Big Data be the silver bullet that can determine something as subjective as a what will bea hit TV show or Movie?  Why or Why Not?

2.  What other applications can you see Netflix using there vast amount data that could create revenue streams for the company?


27 thoughts on “How to Give Viewers What They Want

  1. Yaqian Diao

    I agree that Big Data can be the silver bullet that can determine something as subjective as a what will bea hit TV show or Movie, because Netflix has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, and the company knows audience very well. Netflix knows what the audience like and unlike. Therefore, the company has a huge effect on determine what to offer. As a television business company, audience is the highest. Netflix earn the profits from the audience rating, so that it should know well what the audience like and want to increase the rating. If the company offers the movies and TV shows which are people are not interested in, no one will care about the television any more. So how can the company make revenue? Because of the widely use of Internet, lots of people watch the movies and TV shows online. They surf the Internet to find what is the most popular and interesting. Therefore, it is necessary to expand the business on the Internet for Netflix. They can build a webpage to broadcast their programs online, and list what they are or will apply on television to increase the audience. The company also can offer some advanced notices what the programs talk about. It will increase the audience’s interest and make they think about what to watch next.

  2. Valentine

    Can Big Data be the deciding factor that determines what will be a hit on TV and Netflix ? Yes and No .Why ? Well I say yes because Big data can forecast ,the future trends of TV .It can give companies that service to these demand such as Netflix a heads up in what future viewers might like to watch. It can for instance ,look at how many viewers are viewing hit TV series like Game of thrones and True Blood,and then forecast the demand for these TV series and and see whether producing similar TV series in the future will be profitable or not. I say no because Big data can be faulty at times it is not a guarantee that consumers will want certain shows on Netflix,consumer’s taste can suddenly change ,and hit shows that were once prime time hits will become obsolete. TV shows that once ran supreme like 24 and Fear Factor a couple months or years ago on viewer’s television set have become old and uninteresting .The use of Big data can be useful to extrapolate future trends ,but it most put into consideration that consumer taste is fickle. Other applications that Netflix can be use could be use ,are few and far between ,I find quite difficult ,to see it use in any other way then streaming online television.

  3. Kristina Madarasz

    I think that big data could determine if new pilot shows would be a hit based on data collected by consumers who like watching similar programs. Like if there is a lot of viewership for Dexter and a new show coming out with the same writers and producers, we could predict that the same group of people may like this new show. However, there are a lot of things to be considered such as, when was this data collected? Are they up to date with trends today? Or do viewers want to see something new and exciting?

    Netflix could generate revenue for the company by using big data in getting applicable ads catered to the specific user’s preferences. The ad companies would pay Netflix for their big data information and target certain consumers based on their preferences that were catered to them.

    Netflix in itself is just a brilliant idea and it is amazing how it has evolved in just a few short years. They went from mailing out DVD’s to offering their services through computers and other electronic devices. It will interesting to see what the next level is for Netflix. I can’t wait to see what they do next and how they cater to my needs even more. It has caught on line wildfire with my friends who can now watch their favorite shows and movies from the comfort of their own home. I personally love finding really old shows on there that I haven’t seen since I was a kid.

  4. Blake Bolton

    I believe that big data will be able to predict with more accuracy whether a TV show or movie will be a success, but will not be able to predict with certainty. There are too many variables that cannot be accounted for by the big data and the Venn diagram Netflix created with it. What if Fincher and Spacey decided they hated working together, and Spacey’s performance was terrible (Unlikely I know, that guy is amazing)? Or since it was based on a British television show, the writers might have messed importing the script to our tastes and no amount of good directing or acting could save it?

    One thing that worries me about this use of big data to decide what shows to finance, is the possibility of stagnation. If the other networks and studios begin to base their decisions on what has been successful in the past, then the movies and shows might begin to look like stuff we have seen before. New movies and shows will just be old material that was successful, but shined up and polished to look original.

    This might not be specific to big data, but one revenue stream I’m surprised Netflix has yet to tap into is video games. With their purchasing power, they could finance small indie developers who are currently turning to kickstarter and other revenue generating websites for funding. Xbox live has an app called Xbox arcade, where you can download smaller and sometimes older games for a fee without having to purchase and actual physical game disk. This would fit perfectly with what Netflix is already doing.

  5. Jessica Holmes

    Although big data has the ability to see everything which you have in the past enjoyed it is not able to see everything which is potentially viable information. For instance big data has no idea what type of book you as a consumer are finding to be very enjoyable, instead they are only able to see what you and other people have been watching, this is valuable information to know, for instance Netflix no longer suggests gussy romantic movies to me but instead suggests more action movies with explosions. This is valuable but there is so much more information out there which is just as valuable. Big data has the ability to help in knowing the next big movie or TV show but is not the only thing.
    With the vast information which Netflix has on hand, such as the searches which people are attempting, they are able to see what people are wanting. This is very valuable in knowing what their customers want to see as their customers have pretty much already told Netflix in a roundabout way by searching for it.
    If Netflix combined their algorithm with Kobo, for instance, they could assist their customers find books along with movies which they find enjoyable. This combination would be useful because as many peoples book and movie liking’s are very similar, and with there being such a vast amount of books in the world it would give Netflix a larger big data knowledge of what their customers wants and what would be viable future projects.

  6. Litchi Peng

    I think big data can be the silver bullet that can determine something as what will be hit TV show or movies. It is absolutely good way to collect data and set up a big data for Netflix’s. As a company, the purpose is to satisfy customers. They should know what customers like and dislike. Since Netfix has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, ran the numbers, the information Netfix collets are reliable. These data can reflect what customers like. It can provide some ideas to directors and people who are interested in investing a movie. They all want to know the taste of audience, and make TV shows and movies for the majority of viewers. Not only for TV shows or Movies makers, but also for viewers like us, it can also provide some good suggestions. I can know what the popular TV shows or movies are nowadays. After I see a movie, it may appear some other movies which are in the same category what I have already watched. That is very sweet thing I guess. I do not need to google some good movies and then I can watch them directly via big data suggests.
    I think some other applications I can see Netflix using their vast amount data that could create revenue streams for the company. Since Netflix has this big data, it is a sufficient resource for understanding the needs of customers. Some advertisements or products can make use of this information to achieve their marketing goals.

  7. Brad Zhang

    Big data is every where now for internet services, due to some information should not be accessed by everyone on the internet so lots business would just have their own database. Also, the usage and type of information are also different between business, therefore big data is widely used in most e-commerce corporations. Netflix builds its big data to not only storage its millions movies and customers information. With this information in big data, Netflix is able to serve its customers and improve its service by learning what types of movie that customers like and complains. One more thing I want to mention is, no matter what kind of service the Netflix is doing, mailing physical disc or online downloading, Netflix has to own a big database to storage everything.
    I think Netflix is able to have contact with theatre chains to expand the business. It sounds like there is always a conflict between theatre chains and online movie companies, but online and theatre can actually work together because theatre serve on time watch only but online does a longterm movie services which allows viewers to watch movies more than once. If they can work together to fill the gap of viewers’ demand, the profit can be big.

  8. Liz

    Big data may not be the silver bullet, but I think it can definitely help
    when determining whether a TV show or movie will be a hit. I don`t think
    the process is completely flawless; sure there will be hits that no one
    could expect or diverge from algorithms and information. But if the
    analyses or stats give reason to believe that something will be
    successful, why not try it, especially with an organization as financially
    sound and large as Netflix. One of the critiques of Netflix’s data
    systems, John Landgraf, said that number-crunching could never have
    predicted the success of shows like “South Park” or “Sons of Anarchy”. But
    I think it’s possible that at the time when these shows were released,
    there wasn’t a good enough analytical system, no one had thought of it
    yet, or it had been thought of but didn’t generate accurate/useful
    information, OR, there just wasn’t as many movies and TV shows our there
    on which all the big data reviews have been based. Netflix’s big data
    thrives off of feedback, but also the fact that there must be a large
    volume of shows and movies available to assign feedback to. I do believe
    that there is a lot of downplay on the accuracy of the Netflix’s
    suggestions function for consumers. It doesn’t always turn up suggestions
    that the consumer will act on, just like the big data may not always
    accurately predict success. But I’m sure they’ve generated a lot more
    revenue providing the service than no bothering.
    The article states that “a reliance on Big Data might funnel craftsmanship
    in particular directions”, which I think is a valid concern with Big Data.
    My question is whether the producers of non-mainstream movies are doing so
    to make money or just because it’s an area of interest to them. My guess
    would be the latter, in which case revealing mainstream consumer
    preferences won’t affect the production of these movies. Mainstream
    movies, however, could definitely be affected by this knowledge. This may
    be one of the ways that Netflix can use Big Data to further generate
    revenue; it is essentially like a huge survey of preferences – very
    valuable to anyone in the TV show or movie industry who caters to
    mainstream consumers. So things that are rated highly on Netflix could
    very well start appearing more often, which could mean more “gruesome
    torture scenes” or “sexual content”. I think though that Netflix is more the messenger in this situation than anything else – I don’t think broad categories like that can be the sole secret to a huge TV or movie hit, so I don’t expect these things to occur that much more.

  9. Tim

    Big data can definitely be the silver bullet to determine the next big hit. By examining data and studying trends among the country, it is basically a free pass to unlimited success. Netflix’s unique interface not only helps us users to find the types of movies we enjoy the most, but also contributes to their success business model. Talk about taking down two birds with one stone… isn’t it obvious why people now stream movies online more than watching dvds. The applications of data collected by Netflix can have a wide array of different uses. An example of this is Netflix can check the location of people with the highest view count on a particular genre and sell these data to movie theatres. The movie theatre can then direct more resources (i.e. theatres space) to a specific genre in order to generate more revenue.

  10. James Mahoney

    I think that Netflix definitely has found a successful method for the creation of new shows and movies that cater to its subscribers. On the other hand this method can only be applicable to shows that are considered to have mass popularity. I understand that many people find the recommendations on Netflix to be quite helpful when answering the sometimes daunting question of “What to watch next?” when the list of choices can seem infinite to the viewer. But I find that the suggestions really have no relevance to watch. I can receive a recommendation for a movie after watching a horror movie and a comedy movie and am often skeptical of the relation between them. Also I don’t think that big data can be the only answer to successful programming. Take HBO for example they charge $55 dollars a month compared to $8 dollars for Netflix. They can do this because in my opinion they create the best shows that are offered on TV and always find stories and characters that are a new experience to viewers.
    It could be possible that netflix would be willing to sell some of this inside information from big data to large scale movie companies. Hollywood movies often take a long time to be made because it can be hard to find producers that want to offer the 100 million dollar budget that is often needed. If Hollywood companies had a better idea of what would be likely to be a hit then it would make the production of expensive movies a safer investment.

  11. Ahmed Awad

    The world today is all about big data, because if we look at anything we do uses data; weather we press the” like” button on a YouTube video or even searching something on Google. There will always be a process of collecting data about that user (what he/she like and does not like, where he/ she lives). So the idea of big data is there and it’s waiting to be used by Google or Netflix. Nine out of ten, the recommended data is correct, and its resource of information that if was use then it will enhances the system. From this Big Data Netflix can know what you like, which genre of movies you like and based on this it can recommend some movies of the same genre or movie you can actually like. So it can determine something as subjective as what will be a hit TV show or Movie because of the amount of data that is being collected.
    With vast amount of data that is collected, Netflix can uses for so many things that would bring lots of revenues to the company. They can create guess which movies will be a hit in some geographical area and promote this movie to that region. They can also enhance their infrastructure based on the population of usage; for example if Netflix know that there are a lot of subscribers in Lethbridge then they would create much more servers to enhance the experience in Lethbridge. It’s the collection of the data and analyzing this data that could improve business and answer lots of hard to ask question.

  12. Regi rocha

    How to give viewers what they want:

    I don’t know if Big Data will always be the “silver bullet” that determines what will be a hit or not, but it doesn’t hurt to use that information to try and produce something that will be a hit. When Netflix decided to release House of Cards to its viewers it used Big Data to determine that they thought viewers would like. However, the article also says that they used marketing specific to certain viewers to make them see they’d be interested in House of Cards, like showing “women watching “Thelma and Louise”…trailers featuring the show’s female characters.” Did the Big Data create the success or the marketing? I think it was a combination of both. Research is always good when you are trying something new, and Netflix has access to a lot of research because they can see what their customers are watching. But the marketing also helps to make sure that viewers see whatever they’ve created. And maybe even new viewers that Big Data didn’t consider will watch whatever was marketed to them.

    I think Netflix could use their data in different ways. There are many companies that will pay a lot of money for personal information and for the information that Netflix has about what people are watching. They could sell this information to generate more revenue. I think they could also take this data and create smaller “channels” on Netflix that are specialized for its customers. I do not have Netflix so I am not sure if this is something they do, but I think people would use this. I suppose they could even use their collection of data to figure out what they think people want, create a show or movie and sell that as a special only available to Netflix users…an additional pay per view type of thing. I think that they will make the most money by selling their information to other companies because people are always happy to have someone else do their work for them.

  13. Jingyi Wang

    I agree with that the big data be the silver bullet that can determine something as subjective as a what will bea hit TV show or Movie. Netflix has has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, with so many people using their website to view movies they like, write commands they have , they will have a huge size of data collected from their customer. And all these information will help them to figure out what people like to watch, and find the trend of moive and TV shows. This big data can help a lot when they make decision on choosing which TV shows of Movie. But people always have different ideas, you can not satisfy all of them even you have the bige data.
    I also see in the article that some people worry about their privacy issue “And there are concerns that the same thing that makes Netflix so valuable — it knows everything about us — could create problems if it is not careful with our data and our privacy.”, and business man think the data worth of it. I have the same concerns about it , althought I do not use Netflix, since they have so large amount of data, their competitors will stare at them all the time, and those people who want to use these data selling for money will look for oppotunity to get them, I think the security issuse should be paid attention to.

  14. Victoria Wells

    Big Data is an extremely valuable resource for Netflix. With the more data that you have, you will be able to identify trends and overall general likes/dislikes within the industry. Using this information, a film production company could try and tailor according to ages/interests/release dates/etc. but that is still associated with some risk for those companies. As a user of Netflix, I often find that their suggestions, which are pulled from my previous activities, are not of value and I do not pursue them. The user perhaps feels more comfortable with trying out a new TV series that is similar to their interests as it comes with little risk: you lose only the time spent watching it (no money on purchasing or renting is lost). I think that this data is a great way to increase the probability of a film/TV show to be popular if it meets the trends but it does not result in the perfect definition of what people want. Preferences and tastes are always changing and Big Data can only be used to predict what the future could be like.

    Netflix could generate more revenue by selling their data to different consumer think-tank companies for marketing and product generation. Perhaps those with a preference for cooking shows would be in the market for cookbooks and kitchenware? They can sell this information so that marketing companies can more accurately tailor their ads to consumers who search up a recipe for spaghetti? It’s all about consumer preferences, and with this amount of data that dictates this, any marketing company can benefit from accessing these resources to identify their target markets.

  15. Matthew Malm

    Of course large corporations are relying on Big Data instead of speculation to provide results; banks would not offer monetary loans to businesses if they didn’t offer a viable growth strategy. The strategy that big corporations operate on is investing in statistical gains cause by like-minded audiences. If you have a large enough audience that desires the same genre/show-type/recurring-drama/etc it isn’t even a gamble to invest money in producing a show that meets their needs. Netflix, in particular, has the customer basis to make large scale economic decisions. If out of Netflix’s 33 million subscribers, they can query their data and get a result that shows that 6 million people watch multiple kinds of shows in the same genre. They can conclude that producing a show in that genre would pertain to a large proportion of their subscribers and the funding for the show would be based on the amount of revenue generated from the subscribes that want said show. The end result is a steady profit because they plan the budget around already existing customers and the new customers generally represent profit made for the company.

    I am actually stunned that Netflix has not capitalized on the independent film industry. YouTube does not own the patent on uploading videos that are independently recorded so Netflix could offer the same service. Like YouTube, Netflix could capitalize on ad revenue generated from independent videos and special subscription channels. I think this avenue would be excellent for Netflix to explore since the subscription base is so large and both parties, YouTube and Netflix, have similar users.

  16. Carlie Willimont

    I think Big Data can have a huge impact on determining things like which shows, brands, and movies will be successful. Having data on what people like, what they’re spending money on and when they’re spending money on it is an important tool in marketing. If you knew that a movie with a certain actor had previously done exceptionally well in the box office repeatedly with different movies then of course you would want to promote the movie and have it at your theater. I think this can apply to restaurants as well. If you realized that people were constantly ordering the same meals over and over and neglecting others you would want to eliminate the others because you aren’t making money on them and promote the other meals. Having access to consumer needs and wants is exactly what managers and owners want.

    I think Netflix has the opportunity to sell their findings based on the user and their preferences to larger companies. Maybe even the companies that produce movies. If they sold the findings to these other companies the new company would have the advantage of anticipating what will be a hit and what will not and therefore increase their revenue.

  17. Songxuan Wu

    The Netflix’s data research could absolutely get the customers’ opinion and help the TV show and the movie do the right option. The research could also help the Netflix’s customers get what they want. This is really a good way to reach the customers. But customers’ habits are changing very quickly. When Netflix get the information they want and finish collecting, it’s will be a long time. When the company applies it in the TV show and movie, there will also using a long time. During that time, customers may change their opinion for a long time. The data collection is always a good way for the company to understanding what’s customers’ really need. The data collection may get what the customers’ want in the future. Timeliness is always a problem.
    The Netflix could use the vast amount data to reach the customers in many other applications. For example, the company could sell the information to the supermarket or online store. The supermarket or the online store could get the customers opinions and reply it in a very short period of time. They could also attract the potential customers by using a very effective way. There are also many other options for the Netflix to make money by using the data. Even the customers’ basic information could also attract a lot of companies. Netflix could also use the data to start a second line to attract more customers by offering them what they want in a short time. In conclusion, the data collection is a win-win strategy for both companies.

  18. Cameron Pituley

    I believe Big Data can help predict the next big movie or television show based on trends that are observed through continuously up to date information. There is without a doubt going to be a certain director, genre, and actor that appeals, on average, to a majority or even just a large portion of Netflix users. I don’t think Netflix will ever produce a show or movie that appeals to everyone. However, I would go as far as to say that Big Data can be the “silver bullet” in creating entertainment gold. Still, there is no way to ensure the success. In my own personal experience in using Netflix, ratings are sometimes skewed because multiple members of my family rate movies and television shows. We all have different tastes in some respects and this provides confusing results for the “recommended for you” section. I am sure other accounts are used in a similar fashion and as a result there will be data collected that doesn’t make sense.

    I can see Netflix using their data to generate new revenue streams for the company by selling their findings to different production studios or possibly the highest bidder. Movie studios would pay an arm and a leg to know what the largest portion of the population is the most interested in. There would be a line up for the information pertaining to their users. Other things to consider are the vast amounts of personal information held by Netflix. Netflix could use this information to market different technologies or services from other companies. I would either sell the information regarding preferences to studios or keep all the information under lock and key to use in production of Netflix only series and movies to try and increase the subscription base.

  19. xinying Du

    In my opinion, Big data can be the silver bullet that can determine something as subjective as a will be hit TV show. Netflix knows what the favorite that people like. As we can see, Netflix has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide. Netflix looks 30 million information which contain a lot number of information. Therefore, it is easy for Netflix to collect information and data. Netflix through those data to emphasis what information does people most like. Nowadays, more and more people watching TV shows or movies on the internet. So, Netflix can capture this information to use and then use this function to profit or gain their company. Internet is more important now. People use internet very frequently than before. There are also more technology products to adapt this internet develop and the develop of technology . This article said that giving viewers what they want. Sometimes people may do not want to view them. Because the thoughts of each people are different, same information may not make people feel interesting. It is quite interesting that how Netflix to choose the very interesting topic among 30 million information each day. They said that big data is having a very molecular understanding of user data is going to have a big impact on low things happen in television. As we can see, Netflix has a big confident to continue use the big data function. They are confident that this function will be used in a long time.

  20. Eric Choi

    I certainly agree that big data can determine which shows could be a hit TV show/movie and in a way, forecast what could be the next big show with the use of data collected. Just like how the Nielson ratings were used to determine of the viewership of the show, the same concept is being applied and then utilized to develop a show for majority of the Netflix customers. With this data, the preference of the Netflix customers could be met more with possibly higher satisfaction rate, instead of customers demanding shows from HBO for instance.
    In order to create revenue stream, Netflix can offer products that the customer tend to watch a lot. For example, if the Netflix customer watches a lot of “The office”, there could be a timed ad while the show is being loaded to promote certain products related to The office, just like what youtube does. Also, while it is not ethical, the customer data (age, sex, race, income) can be used to sell to other companies who might be interested.

  21. Jill

    As Netflix has shown, Big Data can certainly help determine what will be the next big hit. However, people’s preferences are constantly changing and too much of something is eventually boring. Since past behavior is not always indicative of future behavior, Netflix may not always win with their algorithm, but I suspect they will be pretty close in most instances. Especially as more people sign up for the service, Netflix’s data can only become more accurate. I suspect it could also be used to fill in the blanks and create a show in genres that people are not currently watching and provide variety for their viewing habits.

    To attract viewers to the new series, Netflix personalized the advertising for the viewers for whom they thought were the target audience. Kevin Spacey fans saw trailers focusing on him; fans of chick flicks saw advertisements with the female characters. This method of advertising shows how personal the information is that Netflix has about their viewers. How else can Netflix make money from this information? Perhaps they could partner with and share the data with electronics manufacturers. By doing so, Netflix could enhance your viewing experience if different genres work better on different televisions.

  22. Calvin Chu

    I will say yes that Big Data can be the silver bullet that can determine something as subjective as a what will bea hit TV show or Movie. Netflix, which has 27 million subscribers in the nation and 33 million worldwide, ran the numbers, could collect data and cusomters’ opinions from lots of method. If Netflix keep doing that, the big data will be able to determine what kind of TV show or movie should be release base on their information which they collected. Big data can do more than you think. It can predict cusomters’ favorite by using the information they collected in the future. I can tell that this can hit what cusomter’s prefer. It is not a bad idea to have a big data and it helps netflix a lot and reduce their costs. According to the huge amount of information netflix has. They can earn tons of money if they sell the information. I believe not only Netflix but many other company are using their database effectively. We could consider different type of focus, but i believe it is differentiation focus in this case. Netflix can limite other company . As netflix is holding these huge amount of useful information and this markey is potential, netflic can keep earning profit with these information over and over.

  23. Kai Zhao

    1. Yes, I will say that Big Data is able to be the silver bullet that can determine something as subjective as a what will be a hit TV show or Movie. Taking Netflix as an example, this kind of Big Data could collect information and opinions from tons of viewers. By doing that, Big Data can determine what TV show and Movie are based on audience ideas. Big Data would provide useful information to predict what audience will like in the future. We can say this prediction will one hundred percent hit on the needs of people, it may miss, but still could be favorable for .TV show and Movie. Forecasting based on this collected information will not be wrong. Hence, Big Data might be able to grab the future direction of audience’s tastes.

    2. Based on the vast amount of data from Netflix, Netflix can earn tons of profits by selling or renting this amount of information. There must be a lot of other companies are eager to gain a huge competitive advantage by using their database effectively. It could be considered as differentiation focus, and other movie makers would be just like new market extranets. Taking this as a monopoly market, Netflix could restrict other movie maker businesses to enter in this business. As a result, Netflix will be able to control this information, and since Movie is such a profitable business with great potential. Therefore, Netflix could use their vast amount data that could create revenue streams for the company.

  24. Brad Melchin

    Big Data is a collection of an individual’s information. In a sense, Big Data is like an older brother that knows you all too well. Big Data may know a lot about a person, and is probably the best predictor for what someone will like in the future, but it is not a hundred percent accurate. Like the article said, the Netflix recommendation system often recommends something that a viewer actually doesn’t enjoy or want to watch. This was actually a problem for me when I was a Netflix user, as it would continually recommend shows to me that I have seen before outside of Netflix that were not enjoyable at all. Even though Big Data can be the silver bullet to determine something as subjective as what will be the next hit TV show or movie, I wouldn’t say that the bullet flies a hundred percent accurately.

    Now that Netflix has a very good idea of what the viewers want to see, they could charge movie makers a good amount of money on information about what could potentially become a big hit. Having this information would give anyone in the movie industry a competitive advantage, because they would be able to plan their movie plots, actors, etc. in a way that would catch the attention of most people. Netflix has millions of credit card numbers, addresses, and phone numbers in their database, so –Not saying that they would do this—they could also sell information about users to marketing companies.

  25. Heather Allan

    I do not believe that Big Data can be the silver bullet that will determine what TV show will be a hit. I do think that it will assist them to understand what people prefer and it will guide companies on making decisions, however it will not be the main and pivotal determinant on whether or not a show will be successful. Big Data can advise companies in what the right direction would be, but it will depend on what movies are being produced. The directors will ultimately be the deciding factor of if a show will be successful or not because the audience may prefer a horror while all the movies that are coming out are comedy’s. There are too many variable that factor into how a TV may become successful for Big Data to beable to correctly predict exactly what shows will thrive. The data provided is a tool for information. It will guide companies but not ensure profibility of certain shows. The benefit of this tool is eliminating a piece of the risk involved with this type of industry. Netflix can guess what type of show will become popular but there is no guarantee. However they do not have the ability to see the future and thus they, like any other company, are continually taking a risk.

  26. Sean Annis

    Meta data just gives the general trends and major, overall, findings when raw data is analyzed. I think that in a world of many different and diverse view points Meta data is the closest people can get to a sure thing. If producers and directors can act quickly enough so that the preferences of the population do not change then Meta data will make them the most money. However, making a lot of money is not the same as making an industry changing movie. Movies that push social and technological limits make for shocking and even controversial movies. These movies do not always align with the interests of many viewers but they do cause people to think outside the box and view movies in a different way. If “Big Data” is always relied upon in new age film making, there will be no truly original ideas or shocking endings because the analysis will show that having a Hot Actor/ Actress, sex scenes, explosions and romance will always sell.

    I Think Netflix could use their vast expanse of data to sell to other networks and movie makers. Also i think that netfliix has a large security risk on its hands. They hold around 33 million credit card numbers and personal information profiles that Red Hat hackers could target.
    Also this growing database of information will continue to reduce the chance of any other online movie streaming website grabbing hold in the market. This Information and Meta Da6ta being produced from it is a huge competitive advantage for Netflix and as a result will make Netflix a lot of money.

  27. Nathan Duncan

    I feel that Big Data such as the data Netflix is able to collect through its millions of viewers is to a certain degree helpful in predicting what TV shows or movies can be hits. However, just as was stated it shows what people liked in the past and does not mean necessarily that is what they want to view in the near future. I feel though that the ability to collect data on what shows are liked or disliked is a huge factor that can predict what people will like in the future. This data i believe is still a hit or miss, but can favour the hit a little more now.

    With the vast amount of Data Netflix has there can be huge potential for marketing firms acquiring the data to help better understand what consumers like or dislike within the market of not only TV shows or Movies, but even products. A person into biker/gang shows such as Sons of Anarchy may be more susceptible to marketing of Harley Davidson motorcycles or clothing. Also on the other hand the marketing company could then not advertise or avoid advertising to certain consumers depending on their likes or dislikes of genres in TV shows.


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