Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

Signup|Loginwith

TheWorld'sBestThinkersonData

Home

PostHere

BestThinking

Analytics

BigData

BusinessIntel

DataManagement

IT

Software

Help

BernardMarr
Posts

Profile

Comments

Follow

BigData:HowNetflixUsesIttoDriveBusinessSuccess
Likeit?

144

113

PostedApril21,2015

comments

Keywords:netflix,TheBigDataGuru,BigData

10

1000

LegendaryHollywoodscreenwriterWilliamGoldmansaidNobody,nobodynotnow,noteverknowsthe
leastgoddamthingaboutwhatisorisntgoingtoworkattheboxoffice.
HewasspeakingbeforethearrivaloftheinternetandBigData,andsincethen,thestreamingmovieandTV
serviceNetflixhasbaseditsbusinessmodelonattemptingtoprovehimwrong.
NetflixissaidtoaccountforonethirdofpeaktimeinternettrafficintheUS.Lastyearitannouncedthatithad
signedup50millionsubscribersaroundtheworld.Datafromallofthemiscollectedandmonitoredinan
attempttounderstandourviewinghabits.Butitsdataisntjustbigintheliteralsense.Itisthecombination
ofthisdatawithcuttingedgeanalyticaltechniquesthatmakesNetflixatrueBigDatacompany.
Aquickglanceatitsjobspageisenoughtogiveyouanideaofhowseriouslydataandanalyticsistaken.
http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

1/8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

Specialistsarerecruitedtojointeamsspecificallyskilledinapplyinganalyticalskillstoparticularbusiness
areaspersonalizationanalytics,messaginganalytics,contentdeliveryanalytics,deviceanalyticsthelist
goeson.
HoweveralthoughBigDataisusedacrosseveryaspectsoftheNetflixbusiness,theirHolyGrailhasalways
beentopredictwhatitscustomerswillenjoywatching.BigDataanalyticsisthefuelthatfiresthe
recommendationenginesdesignedtoservethispurpose.
Predictingviewinghabits
Effortsherebeganbackin2006,whenthecompanywasstillprimarilyaDVDmailingbusiness(streaming
beganayearlater).ItlaunchedtheNetflixprize,offering$1milliontothegroupwhichcouldcomeupwiththe
bestalgorithmforpredictinghowitscustomerswouldrateamoviebasedontheirpreviousratings.
Thewinningentrywasfinallyannouncedin2009andalthoughthealgorithmsareconstantlyrevisedandadded
to,theprinciplesarestillakeyelementoftherecommendationengine.
Atfirst,analystswerelimitedbythelackofinformationtheyhadontheircustomersonlyfourdatapoints
(customerID,movieID,ratingandthedatethatthemoviewaswatched)wereavailableforanalysis.
Assoonasstreamingbecametheprimarydelivermethod,manynewdatapointsontheircustomersbecame
accessible.Datasuchastimeofdaythatmoviesarewatched,timespentselectingmoviesandhowoften
playbackwasstopped(eitherbytheuserorduetonetworklimitations)allbecamemeasurable.Effectsthat
thishadonviewersenjoyment(basedonratingsgiventomovies)couldbeobserved,andmodelsbuiltto
predicttheperfectstormsituationofcustomersconsistentlybeingservedwithmoviestheywillenjoy.Happy
customers,afterall,arefarmorelikelytocontinuetheirsubscriptions.
AnothercentralelementtoNetflixsattempttogiveusfilmswewillenjoyistagging.Itpayspeopletowatch
moviesandthentagthemwithelementsthatthemoviescontain.Itwillthensuggestyouwatchother
productionswhichweretaggedsimilarlytothosewhichyouenjoyed.Thisiswherethesometimesunusual
(andslightlyroboticsounding)suggestionscomefrom(Inthemoodforwackyteencomedyfeaturinga
strongfemalelead?)
Itsalsothereasonthattheservicewillsometimes(infactinmyexperience,often!)recommendIwatchfilms
whichhavebeenratedwithonlyoneortwostars.Thismayseemlikeitiscounterintuitivetoitsobjectiveof
showingmefilmsIwillenjoy.Butwhathashappenedisthattheweightingoftheseratingshasbeen
outweighedbythepredictionthatthecontentofthemoviewillappeal.
Thisarticleexplainsthesciencebehindthatprocessinabitmoredepth,andhowNetflixhaseffectively
definednearly80,000newmirogenresofmoviebasedonourviewinghabits!
Findingthenextsmashhitseries
Morerecently,Netflixhasmovedtowardspositioningitselfasacontentcreator,notjustadistributionmethod
formoviestudiosandothernetworks.Itsstrategyherehasalsobeenfirmlydrivenbyitsdatawhichshowed
thatitssubscribershadavoraciousappetiteforcontentdirectedbyDavidFincherandstarringKevinSpacey.
AfteroutbiddingnetworksincludingHBOandABCfortherightstoHouseofCards,itwassoconfidentthatit
fitteditspredictivemodelfortheperfectTVshowthatisbuckedconventionofproducingapilot,and
immediatelycommissionedtwoseasonscomprisingof26episodes.
EveryaspectoftheproductionunderthecontrolofNetflixwasinformedbydatathisWiredarticleexplains
howeventherangeofcolorsusedonthecoverimagefortheserieswasselectedtodrawviewersin.
TheultimatemetricwhichNetflixhopestoimproveinthenumberofhoursthatcustomersspendusingits
http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

2/8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

service.Youdontreallyneedstatisticstotellyouthatviewerswhodontspendmuchtimeusingtheservice
arelikelytofeeltheyarentgettingvalueformoneyfromtheirsubscriptions,andthereisadangertheywill
canceltheirsubscriptions.
Qualityofexperience
Tothisend,thewaythatvariousfactorsaffectthequalityofexperienceiscloselymonitoredandmodelsare
builttoexplorehowthisaffectsuserbehavior.
AlthoughitsvastdatabaseofmoviesandTVshowsishostedinternallyonitsowndistributednetworkof
servers,itisalsomirroredaroundtheworldbyISPsandotherhosts.Aswellasimprovinguserexperienceby
reducinglagwhenstreamingcontentaroundtheglobe,thisreducescostsfortheISPssavingthemfromthe
costofdownloadingthedatafromNetflixserverbeforepassingitontotheviewersathome.
Bycollectingenduserdataonhowthephysicallocationofthecontentaffectstheviewersexperience,
calculationsabouttheplacementofdatacanbemadetoensureanoptimalservicetoasmanyhomesas
possible.Datapointssuchadelaysduetobuffering(rebufferrate)andbitrate(whichaffectsthepicturequality
ifyourewatchingafilmonNetflixthatsuddenlyseemstoswitchfromrazorsharpHDtoablurrymess,
youveexperiencedabitratedrop)arecollectedtoinformthisanalysis.
NetflixhasusedBigDataandanalyticstopositionitselfastheclearleaderofthepack.Ithasdonethisby
takingonotherdistributionandproductionnetworksattheirowngame,andtrumpingthemthroughinnovative
andconstantlyevolvinguseofdata.
ItfacescompetitionnowandintothefutureofcoursemostnotablyAmazon,whichpurchasedUKbased
NetflixrivalLovefilmin2011,acquiringitsuserdataandmeldingitwiththeirownadvanceddatainfrastructure
andanalysisplatforms.WillAmazonwhichpioneeredtheartofrecommendationsbeforeNetflixeven
existedunseatNetflixfromitsperchaskingofthestreamingcontentproviders?NottomentionthatApple
isabouttolaunchitsnewAppleTVservicetocompeteinthisspace.Timewilltellbuttheracetodevelop
moreaccurateandinsightfulanalyticstrategieswillbeakeydecider.
Asalways,thankyouverymuchforreadingmyposts.Youmightalsobeinterestedinmynewbook:Big
Data:UsingSmartBigData,AnalyticsandMetricsToMakeBetterDecisionsandImprovePerformance
Youcanreadafreesamplechapterhere.

http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

3/8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

Formore,pleasecheckoutmyotherpostsinTheBigDataGurucolumnandfeelfreetoconnectwithmevia:
Twitter,LinkedIn,Facebook,SlideshareandTheAdvancedPerformanceInstitute.

Loginorregistertopostcomments

Authoredby:

Connect:

BernardMarr
BernardMarrisagloballyregognizedbigdataandanalyticsexpert.Heisabestsellingbusinessauthor,
keynotespeakerandconsultantinstrategy,performancemanagement,analytics,KPIsandbigdata.Hehelps
companiestobettermanage,measure,reportandanalyseperformance.Hisleadingedgeworkwithmajor
companies,organisationsandgovernmentsacrosstheglobemakeshimaglobally...

Seecompleteprofile
Wouldyouliketocontributetothissite?Getstarted

OtherPostsbyBernardMarr
3WaysBigDataIsChangingFinancialInstitutionsForeverAugust11,2015
HowHRCanUseBigDatainaSmartWay(Hint:MostAreNot)August4,2015
HowBigDataandAnalyticsAreChangingFootballJuly28,2015
IsBigDataaScam?July21,2015
IsAItheBiggestThreattoyourJob?July14,2015

http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

4/8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

Themoderatedbusinesscommunityforbusinessintelligence,predictiveanalytics,
anddataprofessionals.

Twitter

RSS

Email

SDCSpecialColumns

Events
Noeventslisted

Addyourown!

Recommendedtofollow
Shlomo
Argamon

Subhash
Kulkarni

Follow

Follow

VishalAnam
Follow

Balakumar
Jaganathan
Follow

JonThanhPham

SudiptoChakraborty

http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

5/8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

Follow

Follow

Comments
FEATURED

POPULAR

RECENT

Jonha,veryinformativearticle.Wedefinitelyareseeinganincreaseinactivitywithcompanies
respondingtotheimpactbigdatahasmadeontheirbusiness.Forcompaniesofanysize,getting
meaningfulinsightsfromdataanalyticsisanimportantpriority.LexisNexishasopensourceditsHPCC
Systemsbigdataplatformwhichrepresentsmorethanadecadeofinternalresearchanddevelopment
in...
August12th,2015byDataH
Idoagreewiththeviewpointsyoumentioned,hereisjustmyrandomthoughtafterreadingthisarticle:
tokeepupwiththebusiness,wemusttakecareofSocialMediacompanysocialmediaaccounts
suchasLinkedInGroups,TwitterprofilesandFacebookpagesareanexcellentwaytostayconnected
whereveryourjobtakesyou.Besuretofollow,likeand+1toremainapartofthework...
August1st,2015byDannyMyers

Popular
READ

COMMENTED

AUTHORS

3WaysBigDataIsChangingFinancialInstitutionsForever

8/11/2015byBernardMarr
5BigWaysCompaniesCouldUseBigDatatoGrowBusiness

8/10/2015byJonhaRevesencio
TheEraofCloudComputing:AnInteractiveTimeline

8/12/2015byRichardThelwell
5GameChangersfortheModernDataWarehouse

8/13/2015byRickDelgado
HowTopCompaniesUseVideoConferencing

8/10/2015bySeanMallon

MyVenturePad

Seethemall
Subscribe(iTunes)
Subscribe(RSS)

AdvisoryPanel

Aboutthepanel

http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

6/8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

AaronAdersMore

BrunoAzizaMore
StephenBakerMore

PaulBarschMore

GaryCokinsMore

JillDychMore

ThemosKalafatisMore

BernardMarrMore

JamesTaylorMore

SmartDataCollective

AudioArchive:TheCuttingEdgeofBigDataMonetization
AudioArchive:DeliveringValueThroughBusinessAnalytics
AudioArchive:TrendspottingforGrowth
AudioArchive:FindingValueinUnstructuredSocialData
AudioArchive:RisksandRewardsofBigDataintheCloud
AudioArchive:PuttingCustomerValuetoWork

Categories
Analytics
BestPractices
BigData
BookReview
BusinessIntelligence
http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

7/8

16/8/2015

HowNetflixUsesBigDatatoDriveBusinessSuccess|SmartDataCollective

showmore

FeaturedContributors
YOU
PaulBarsch
JasonBurke
TedCuzzillo
ChrisDixon
MichaelFauscette
DavidHecht
LachlanJames
AlexOlesker
JamesTaylor

MelanieAizer
MetaS.Brown
GaryCokins
BarryDevlin
EricaDriver
BillFranks
JulieHunt
DougLautzenheiser
DavidSmith
DanielTunkelang

SocialMediaTodayLLC2012
TermsofUse|CommunityGuidelines|PrivacyPolicy|GetaBadge|Help|About&Contact

http://www.smartdatacollective.com/bernardmarr/312146/bigdatahownetflixusesitdrivebusinesssuccess

8/8