Netflix knows what we watch, when we watch it and how many times we scrolled through the entire catalogue without watching anything — gathering more viewing and interaction data than any content producer in history. Over the last decade, while being coy about the exact data they’ve gathered, Netflix has made no secret of the fact that it employs intelligence (artificial, emotional and analytical fused together) to determine how it will approach future programming decisions. The assumption has always been that Netflix was developing content in a data-driven lab, with analytically engineered shows and films. That’s not the case. Not exactly, anyway.
Instead, Netflix uses intelligence to feed the creative process — greenlighting shows to meet the unique tastes of niche audiences. It’s a liberating model, one in which auteur-level filmmakers are empowered to take creative risks because Netflix knows that it can pinpoint the corresponding audience. In this sense, Netflix operates at the very convergence of creativity and intelligence, serving as a matchmaker between writers, directors, actors, artists, comics and other creatives — and the audiences looking for their new favourite binge-watch.
It’s the creative work — otherworldly sci-fi, Oscar-nominated drama, heart-thumping rom-com — that gives purpose to the mountain of data delivered by every scroll and click the Netflix platform. It’s a perfect and nearly infinite cycle of intelligence and creativity.