How Big Data led Netflix to House of Cards

Interesting piece by Andrew Leonard over on Salon about Netflix. The standfirst reads “‘House of Cards’ gives viewers exactly what Big Data says we want. This won’t end well”, and here are a couple of pertinent passages:

In 2012, for the first time ever, Americans watched more movies legally delivered via the Internet than on physical formats like Blu-Ray discs or DVDs. The shift signified more than a simple switch in formats; it also marked a major difference in how much information the providers of online programming can gather about our viewing habits.

For almost a year, Netflix executives have told us that their detailed knowledge of Netflix subscriber viewing preferences clinched their decision to license a remake of the popular and critically well regarded 1990 BBC miniseries. Netflix’s data indicated that the same subscribers who loved the original BBC production also gobbled down movies starring Kevin Spacey or directed by David Fincher.

It’s worth taking the time to read it in full.

(hat tip: Chris Applegate)