“Netflix has an advantage at the negotiating table as long as people making the content don’t know the value of their labour”

Dr. Michael Wayne’s insights called upon for an article in the Wall Street Journal

The use of data by Netflix has been key in its success in recent years, compared to other streaming services. Through their collection of users’ data, Netflix knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. In light of the recent strikes in Hollywood, data and who possesses it became an important factor. Assistant professor in media and creative industries Michael Wayne’s insights were called upon for a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Netflix executives try to portray Netflix as an entertainment company that happens to rely on technology, but don’t be fooled as the use of technology and therefore the collection of data is key to its success. Netflix uses the gathered data to decide what shows and movies to produce, as well as what to renew and what to recommend on the viewer’s home screen.

Michael points out how in light of the recent strikes by writers and actors in Hollywood, data, and especially who is possessing this data, is an important factor. Michael uses Netflix’s House of Cards as an example. House of Cards was the first big original series produced by Netflix. It still has value for the company, even 10 years after its debut, however, how much value it holds isn’t clear. This value is important, says Michael: “As long as people who are making content for Netflix don’t know the value of their labour, Netflix has an advantage at the negotiating table. Data is central to this.”

More information

The Wall Street Journal article holds interesting insights from various experts in the field to create an informed piece on Netflix’s data and use of algorithms. Curious to find out more? Read the entire article here.

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