house-of-cards-final-posterI’ve not watched House of Cards yet but find it worth discussing due to its production and release.

See the Netflix logo at the bottom of the poster?

This show originally aired on Netflix, not on normal television.

Furthermore every episode was released at once rather than week by week. Personally, given the chance, I usually watch TV shows like that. I’ll download an entire season and watch episodes back to back until I either need to do other things or get bored.

"The world of 7:30 on Tuesday nights, that's dead," Fincher said during an interview at his offices in Hollywood. "A stake has been driven through its heart, its head has been cut off, and its mouth has been stuffed with garlic. The captive audience is gone. If you give people this opportunity to mainline all in one day, there's reason to believe they will do it.

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Television networks bid for the show but were outbid by Netflix (Apparently around $100m for two seasons) and the reasoning for the win is what interests me. Netflix, like any company with half a brain, tracks statistics. They have analytical data on what people watch, what they like, and any number of other things. Through their data mining they were able to determine that there was quite possibly an audience for David Fincher, Kevin Spacey, and political thrillers.

Seeing that kind of data converted into business decisions and ultimately products we might actually give a damn about interests me greatly.

I generally like my stuff to be bespoke but often it’s not because I want to be special it’s simply because what I want doesn’t already exist or only exists at a laughably high price point.

This is the sort of thing I’d expect to see from Valve – assessing what we want to play and trying to make a product we want. The big difference between this and market research in the past is that these services allow more than mere sampling. Data can be gathered from every single user to form an accurate data set rather than a speculative slice.

The release schedule of all at once pleases me too and with any luck it’ll become increasingly common. I look forward to seeing the end of “Previously on” montages!

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