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Netflix data is often considered to be the soundproof way the streaming giant knows a show is going to be a hit, but it turns out the data isn’t always correct. Vulture’s in-depth new profile on the streaming company (entitled “The Netflix Binge Factory”) includes interviews with Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, and Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president of original content, and the executives admitted the data isn’t always right. One example where the data proved wrong in a big way: “The End of the F***ing World.”
Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman, “The End of the F***ing World” made its international debut on Netflix starting January 5. The series’ lower profile source material and the fact it had already aired in full on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom months earlier could have been two reasons why Netflix data warned executives not to get their hopes up about the original series performing above expectations with subscribers. Sarandos confirmed the company’s “internal forecasts” came in well below the numbers at which the show actually performed around the world.
Sarandos - Level - Failure - Success
“It was astounding how popular it was for us,” Sarandos said. “On one level, it was a massive failure that we didn’t see [the success coming].”
The smash success of “The End of the F***ing World” taught Sarandos and his Netflix team a valuable lesson that data isn’t everything. As the series’ popularity grew, Sarandos started to ask his team, “What else are you highly confident about that you can’t see coming?” One name the company won’t understermate moving forward is Charlie Covell, the creator and writer...
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