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Netflix used subscriber data to make 'House of Cards' a hit

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House of Cards - Netflix - Spacey
House of Cards - Netflix - Spacey

Netflix recently said its original drama House of Cards is the streaming video service's most watched program "right now," but it didn't get that way by accident, as a new profile of the company by Salon's Andrew Leonard reveals. Netflix closely tracks subscriber viewing habits across all programs, monitoring how many times viewers replay sex scenes, for example. The company's tracking showed that viewers who enjoyed the original BBC series House of Cards, also tended to like movies featuring Kevin Spacey, the lead character of the Netflix US remake. Such tracking could guide the development of TV shows going forward, not necessarily for the better, as Leonard argues.