"House Of Cards": The Triumph of Creativity Over Big Data

Image Credit: Netflix

Image Credit: Netflix

Two years ago, for the first time ever, Americans watched more movies legally via streaming than on DVDs. The shift signified more than a simple change in formats; it also made a huge difference in how much information the providers of online programming can gather about our viewing habits. Netflix is in the vanguard of this revolution, a pioneer overlapping the intersection where Big Data and entertainment media meet.

Netflix has always been very explicit about its plans to exploit its Big Data know-hows to influence its programming choices. “House of Cards” is one of the first major test cases of this Big Data-driven creative strategy. When the program, a remake of a BBC miniseries, was up for purchase in 2011 with David Fincher and Kevin Spacey attached, Netflix executives simply looked at their massive stash of data. And data clearly showed that subscribers who watched the original series were also likely to watch movies directed by David Fincher and enjoy ones that starred Kevin Spacey. Considering the material and the players involved, Netflix was sure that an audience was out there. Therefore a remake of the BBC drama with Spacey and Fincher attached was a no-brainer, to the point that the company committed $100 million for two 13-episode seasons as well as total creative control of the production to David Fincher. Read More..