Updated: Aug 5, 2021
Nowadays everyone talks about big data, and many companies are using it to improve their businesses, and Netflix is the perfect example to explain the benefits.
The main strategy of Netflix is to glue its audience to their screens, and they are being very successful on that, with an impressive customer retention. But how do they do it?
Yes, Netflix has a lot of successful original TV shows and movies, like House of Cards, Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel, Birdbox and, the oscar winner, Roma. But, Netflix has also been more successful in identifying what their audience wants, thanks to big data.
So, how does Netflix use big data? By collecting data from their 139 million subscribers (January 2019), like searches, ratings, re-watched programs, time and date a show is watched, the device used, if the show was paused (and where), if finish an entire TV show or not, how long does it take, and so on. Then, Netflix implements data analytics models to discover customer behaviour and uses that information to recommend movies and TV shows based on their subscribers' preferences providing personalised recommendations improving the user experience. This recommendation system actually influences 80% of the content watched on.
For example, if you watch a Star Wars movie, Netflix will likely suggest Harrison Ford movies, space movies and geek tv series. Or if you watch La Casa de Papel, more Spanish content will be suggested.
Netflix even uses big data and analytics to conduct custom marketing. To promote House of Cards were made over 10 different versions of a trailer, if you watched a lot of shows centered on women, you will see a trailer focused on the female characters.
But they go even further on a personalised recommendation system. They can get the right titles in front of the subscribers at the right time, but they need to convince them that a title is worth watching. So they personalised the cover image too. With a cover representing what subscribers most like, compelling them and giving visual "evidence" for why the title might be good, with the right actor or with an exciting moment. For example, if someone watched several romantic movies may be interested in Good Will Hunting, so the cover will show Matt Damon and Minnie Driver. But if someone watched comedies, the movie cover will show Robin Williams.
Netflix's ability to collect and use the data is the reason behind their success, and show how an organisation can leverage its big data to not only survive but to beat the competition.
Maybe data it's companies'secret weapon when it comes to understanding customer behaviour and survive on the market.
by Tânia Espinheira
Design & Marketing Manager @Passio Consulting