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Netflix Harnesses Big Data To Profit From Your Tastes
“Bird Box,” a thriller starring Sandra Bullock, sucked in 45 million Netflix viewers in a week. “Bandersnatch,” part of Netflix’s “Black Mirror” franchise, set new standards for interaction. Netflix is quietly transforming the entertainment industry with big data. Founded in 1997, Netflix began as a subscription mail-order DVD company. Back then, distributing the shiny discs in prepaid mailing pouches was so disruptive that it brought Blockbuster Video, a nationwide goliath, to its knees. But Netflix’s strength wasn’t putting DVDs in the mail. Rather, it was the company’s use of predictive analytics. Netflix software engineers developed algorithms to steer customers away from high-demand blockbusters … and toward its plentiful, lesser-known library titles. This strategy was a huge success. Through the years, mail-order logistics have been replaced with online streaming, then content creation. Data analytics played a key role during every phase. “House of Cards,” a Netflix original series, debuted in 2013. The company shocked the industry by committing $100 million to the edgy political thriller.
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