Like most stories about data science, this one begins with a very big number: 150 million. That’s roughly how many people, worldwide, subscribe to Netflix. And because Netflix knows what all of those people watch, when they watch, and on what sort of device they watch, that number provides Netflix with the data it needs to determine the narratives, characters, and lengths of the programming to invest in.
So when you binge on a season of Stranger Things over a school vacation week, then enjoy a weeknight with the comedy special of Ellen DeGeneres, and finally settle in on a chilly Saturday night to watch the recent Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award winner Roma, you aren’t just consuming art. You’re shaping it.
Netflix programming is refined with algorithms designed to produce popular shows, and then aimed at people whose personal viewing habits suggest that they might like them—two reasons that Netflix original shows are deemed successful 80 percent of the time. That number indicates that the algorithms are working: traditional TV shows have a success rate of about 40 percent. Netflix gets so granular with its data mining that it even tests different thumbnail images on viewers around the world, then presents those viewers with pictures that the data indicates will appeal to their particular demographic.
Source : BU TODAY