• Pradyumna Nag

House of Cards was no fluke. It was a data-backed master-move

House of Cards, Netflix’s #1 watched show at the time was no fluke.

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It was the first real-time big data was used in a fully integrated manner.

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So what's so special about ‘House of Cards’ that you may not know?


Here is how House of Cards was picked –

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When Netflix analyzed the data of 33Mn subscribers, this is what they found:


A. David Fincher’s The Social Network was the least paused movie in their entire catalog.


B. Their most popular TV series was a British political drama called ‘House of Cards’.


C. Users who watched this show also oddly watched movies directed by David Fincher.


D. These users who watched either David Fincher's work or the British show also seemed to watch a lot of movies with Kevin Spacey in the titular role.

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The Answer:

A political TV Series akin to the British show directed by David Fincher with Kevin Spacey in the lead.



Netflix signed them for 2 seasons at a cost of over $100Mn.

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It bypassed the standard model of doing a pilot first in entirety.

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For the first time, it had made the game of content creation more science and less art than it used to be.



The result?

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It helped add over 3Mn subscribers in less than 2 months of launch.



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