Many commentators think that Netflix are taking a massive gamble in producing original content for online streaming. Bringing in high name directors and stars means the costs can be sky high. How can they take such a risk on an online platform that bypasses the high paying satellite and cable networks?

Well the answer may be in the form of all the online data that Netflix harvests about all viewers. By tapping into their massive database, the Apache Cassandra, Netflix know what is being watched, by who, and the demographics involved along with return rate. Using this data, they know what people want to watch,and they just have to supply similar or better content for a guaranteed hit.

DataStax are the company that teamed up with Netflix to implement the technology using the open source Apache Cassandra which was developed by Facebook, along with the Google inspired Hadoop, which is needed for big number crunching.

Matt Pfeil, of Datastax said, “Netflix has all these data points about movies getting watched, and they can look for things like, do people like actions or drama who are our highest returning customers? Who is the lead in most of those? What type of characteristics of films provide the most engaged watching experience? And then they can use that to go figure out which series they should potentially buy.”

So next time Netflix announce a high budget show full of big time stars, don't worry about the costs and risks you think they are taking. Netflix have got it covered.