How Netflix uses data to inform commissioning


How Netflix executives use (and don’t use) viewing data to assist their decision-making to commission, premiere, renew and cancel their shows.

It refers to “verticals,” groupings of similar shows in highly-specific film and TV genres, such as young-adult comedies, period romances, or sci-fi adventures. Instead of traditional demographics, it segments viewers into 2,000 “taste communities” from their viewing habits. New shows are introduced to a community like “a matchmaking service… people dating their content and content dating people.”

However, a senior executive cautions, “You have to be very cautious not to get caught in the math, because you’ll end up making the same thing over and over again. And the data just tells you what happened in the past. It doesn’t tell you anything that will happen in the future.”

Read more: Inside the Binge Factory