While you are watching Netflix, Netflix is watching you

Stephanie Jones

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As the clock neared midnight on Thursday last week, the Netflix IT engineers gathered in the company’s “war room” on the west coast of the U.S., awaiting the worldwide release of season two of the series House of Cards.

Netflix series “House of Cards”. Photo by Photo Giddy
Netflix series “House of Cards”. Photo by Photo Giddy

Over 40 million people subscribe to the streaming service. 16 percent of those sat down during the premiere and tuned in to see the power-hungry Vice President Frank Underwood in action.

– We monitor what you are watching, and how often you watch, says Netflix’s spokesman Joris Evers to the U.S. news website Market Place.

The Netflix IT engineers are, minute by minute, watching how many people stream shows and movies, what they stream through (Apple TV, X -box or other transfer utility), and who sees multiple episodes in one stretch, so-called “binge-viewing”.

Netflix webpage. Photo by Stephanie Jones
Netflix webpage. Photo by Stephanie Jones

One of the IT engineers at Netflix, Jeremy Edberg, said that last time House of Cards premiered, they knew that the season lasted 13 hours, and that they then checked if someone finished the season as soon as it was launched. He continued to say that they did indeed find a person who saw all of the episodes from the first season the moment it was published. They also saw that the person only took three-minute breaks during the 13 hours.

Click on the video below to watch the season two trailer of House of Cards.

 

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Stephanie Jones