Netflix is a good example of a company that benefits from leveraging on Big Data and enhances the consumer experience with their product, in this case, the streaming service. For this assignment, I will focus on how they used Big Data to select one of their original series, House of Cards. I will also discuss how they use Big Data to enhance the consumer experience by learning from their behavior while using the product, including pausing, rewinding, abandonment, as well as replaying scenes. In my opinion, they are leveraging on Big Data in as successful way in order to create and personalized and meaningful experience to the consumer. They have been able to make consumers like me think that when I log to my account, the experience will be a really close reflection of my interests.
Before giving the green light for House of Cards, Netflix already know they would have an audience for that show. They were so positive about this that they didn’t ask for the pilot first, which is usually what happens; they went straight to the 13 episodes. How could they be so sure? Based on the data they obtained through their subscribers they knew that many of them watched The Social Network, a movie produced by the show’s producer, David Fincher. Secondly, the British version of the House of Cards was well watched. Finally, subscribers who watched that version of the show had also watched movies with Kevin Spacey or directed by Fincher. I don’t have to say that the show proved to be a success in terms of viewership and the increased number of Netflix subscribers. In this case, they were able to establish this based on Big Data obtained from their own customers. I have to add that they must have also figured out that people love political drama shows. Based on data too, they decided to produce not one, but 10 versions of the trailer, each targeted to different audiences, according to their viewing behavior. By doing so, they were able to talk to viewers based on what they knew they like, so they could draw the series to their attention.
Netflix also uses Big Data to enhance consumer experience. I’m a subscriber and heavy user of the Netflix streaming service. I now wonder I must be driving them crazy. A month ago, I just started to watch Mad Men and immediately got hooked with the show. However, since I watch it on weekdays at night, I tend to only watch 2 episodes before falling asleep with the TV on. Because each time one episodes finishes another one begins automatically, I wonder if as soon as Netflix notices that the next day I watch the shows again, they get that I fall asleep based on the time of they day I usually watch and its relationship with the pattern. They also know that I hit pause at 10:00pm to take my dogs out and then continue to watch the show. The reality is that these patterns give them a lot of information about my usage.
Netflix also uses Big Data collected from their subscribers to give recommendations. According to How Netflix Uses Analytics, they also put tags to shows, like according to level of violence, theme, gender roles, and very specific information, such as the professional career of the main character. They make meaningful usage of this data because it tells them what people like to watch. Since the whole point of this service is to maintain people interested in finding content, they use this data to determine how they can do that. It is no coincidence that I don’t usually have to search for shows using the “search” feature because Netflix effectively predicts what I would like to watch next. Now that I mention this search button, I wonder all the possible information they could obtain from people who use it.
In my promotional products business, I use data from Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. The first one provides information about visits to my website, including audience, interests, behavior, and technology, among others. In terms of behavior, there is the possibility to see which users are new and which are returning visitors. This is extremely valuable because that should give me an idea about whether or not my website design is attractive, if it’s user friendly, and if content is relevant. I do have to make some assumptions, but I can establish trends using this data so I can make changes, if necessary. How do you use Big Data?