Consumer habits will change "dramatically" as price of mobile data goes down, says Netflix exec

Netflix vice president of product Todd Yellin believes that big data analytics and AI will make content streaming "flawless" in the future
Consumer habits will change
Watching the watcher: understanding the audience is a science
By Todd Yellin
Tue 26 Dec 2017 02:22 PM

How do you enhance viewing experience and ensure customer satisfaction as a company with over 110 million plus users across 190 countries? The variables are truly vast: different types of content, thousands of titles, 1,600 internet-enabled compatible devices, 25-plus languages, varying internet speeds across our subscriber base, and diverse audience tastes and behaviours.

Content streaming is a fiendishly complicated science and drops in quality of experience (QoE) are directly linked to drops in subscription and increases in attrition. Crucial factors in 2018 will be understanding the impact of QoE, creating personalised streaming experiences, on one of the three to five devices used on average, determining what to cache based on member viewing behaviour and improving technical quality using viewing data and member feedback.

However, the key differentiator between a good streaming service and a great one is personalisation. Through our data we can recommend new titles that you may otherwise not even find. But the story doesn’t end there. Our level of personalisation is so specific, and is bound to become more so, that we can now tailor the artwork for the title specifically for users and their interests. The more new content subscribers discover, the more they engage with it and are likely to stay with us. This is what sets us apart from conventional broadcast outlets. Netflix doesn’t offer one single product – we offer over hundreds of millions; one for each of our users.

As mobile data becomes more affordable, consumption habits of users will change dramatically. To meet and surpass them, data is key. In the future, big data analytics combined with AI and Deep Learning will make content streaming flawless with laser-sharp personalisation. We, as an industry, aren’t quite there yet. But, we’re certainly on the way.

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