targeted advertising

How Netflix Is Using Your Data (Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment) via Fortune

Professors Michael Smith and Rahul Telang answered the following questions on this article:

“The making of House of Cards illustrates how a bunch of different changes coming together at the same time can be really disruptive to the traditional industry. The thing that Netflix had that nobody else in the industry had was they knew exactly who those Kevin Spacey fans were and they could use the platform to target them directly. So, Netflix went out and created nine separate trailers for House of Cards and targeted them directly to those users. So, I think part of the story is the power of detailed customer data to help you do a better job of marketing the content.”

  1. People have made a big deal about the idea of “binge-watching” as the embodiment of the changing way we consume media. But, what about the tailored content, based on users’ tracked habits? Which is more important?
  2. Both. It’s understanding at a detailed level how individual consumers are accessing the content, and then using the platform to help them discover and find exactly the right content that’s going to meet their tastes. What the academic literature says is that consumers get an incredible amount of value from being able to find exactly the kind of content that meets their unique tastes—and that consumers’ tastes are incredibly varied, more so than what you can find with traditional broadcast channels.
  3. What’s the biggest reason streaming services have a leg up over traditional media companies?
  4. Netflix, Amazon, and Google all own their own data and they don’t share it with anybody in the entertainment industry.

Access full article from Fortune

Web Tracking Surges with Online Ads – via USA Today


The rise of web tracking and more targeted advertising has helped fund the explosion of online content and build such web behemoths such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and others. It’s even part of the reason Verizon recently bought Yahoo, to bolster its potential audience for ads. It’s also led to more consumers installing ad-blocking software, which resulted in pushback from companies like Facebook to thwart it.

A study found that at least 75% of the world’s 500 most popular websites contain web trackers, up from fewer than 5% in 1998.

“The number of trackers have increased, the ability of the top trackers to track you across sites has increased and the complexity of the trackers has increased,” said Adam Lerner, a security and privacy researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle and one of the study designers.

Access full article from USA Today