In one word: information.
Netflix has got something that can help them develop better originals than most others content producers. Netflix knows what people are watching, how many times they are watching, which episode cliffhangers are most captivating and where are the audience dropping out. This is unparalleled information that can be put to use to develop more targeted programs and improve the content (provided the creatives listen to them). The interesting thing is that they can learn not only from their shows but also from shows of other channels for which they buy syndication rights. The information source is not a focus group of 15 people or a survey of 1500 individuals, it’s information they are getting from hundreds of thousands of consumers feeding it on a continuous and ongoing basis.
Same is true for the likes of Hulu and HBO (with its HBO GO) kind of services where you have a two-way connection with the audience. Online stores like Amazon and Zappos have the same edge when it comes to goods. They track every step of consumer to know what they are buying, what they are not buying and much more. But for the rest of the world where there’s only one way connection with the audience or consumer, you lack this information. The void can be filled with the help of information on social media.
Social media takes edge away from these distributors to a large extent. You can get the same information for your content or product by listening to the consumer on social media. The reason being we human beings like to talk. We like to share our thoughts, feelings, opinions and a lot more. Social media has provided everyone a great place to do that with the rest of the world. By analyzing this amazing database of information, you can learn anything from what they are liking about your content or product and what they are not.
But you get something more that the Netflixes of the world do not get from their power of connectivity. You get the reason behind a particular action. By using the right technology and techniques, the information on social media can be analyzed and you can be provided with not just what, but also the why.
In a nutshell, whether you fall under the bracket of Netflixes of the world or not, you got to leverage right technology and techniques to analyze the information online and use it to make better products for your customers.