Netflix is really beginning to piss some people in traditional Hollywood off. Offering entire season of shows at once, refusing to release ratings info, and basing their decisions more off of equations than traditional thinking. And a good majority of the blame for that kind of thinking can be placed at the feet of Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. Sarandos is an interesting man who isn't willing to compromise with the old ways and instead is unrelenting into the future. He recently did an interview with THR, which you can find here, where he goes in-depth about how Netflix algorithms help them make decisions about current and future content.
Some interesting information from this interview are the methods behind the madness for Netflix. The company balances everything you do on their service against everything else. If you're like me you watched House of Cards entire first season within one week and forgot to rate it but Netflix can measure my watching habits of the show and guess that I enjoyed it. Or if you watch House of Cards and follow it up with Gossip Girl, which apparently a lot did, they manage to guess that you're a woman. This is how they make a lot of their decisions, all based on viewing habits and ratings. If you don't watch your favorite show/movie and it leaves the service then you may just be the one to blame.
Even the insight within their decision making process the most interesting takeaway, for me, from this interview is Sarandos himself. When asked about Netflix's place within the current entertainment system he mentions how networks called him and told him to drag out House of Cards episodes, making viewers constantly return to the Netflix. Sarandos and Netflix refuses, instead going for customer satisfaction rather their consistent viewership. Or more interesting is his hands-off approach to programming. Traditionally a network has complete control, and often time uses it, to control every aspect of the TV show. Sarandos might have influence but he really seems to take a step back and let show-runners run their show.
It all sounds super obvious but it really isn't for some running major TV networks across the industry Some of it is tradition and habit and some of it is fear of what's new. Netflix isn't just the drop in a bucket it may just be the future stalking the networks waiting for each faltered step. It is no longer a question about when the future will arrive but instead when will the past finally die.