March 6, 2019

Who has experience with risk of relying on 3rd party data?


Goo'day IH. I'm assessing a key business risk for a startup I'm planning, related to the risk of relying on third party metadata. Fundamentally, the startup is a video streaming aggregation platform (most similar to Reelgood or JustWatch) that will include a comprehensive database of movie/show content and which streaming services provide that content (among other unique features missing from the current market).

My best understanding after many hours of research is that streaming services - say Netflix for example - would have grounds to stop me from presenting on my platform which content is available through its service, unless I had an agreement with Netflix specifically allowing me to do so (please clarify if my understanding is not correct).

Of course, this would never be an issue until I grew large enough to get on Netflix's radar, and even then there is a great argument that Netflix would take no issue with me since my platform is promoting its content. Indeed there are other platforms such as Reelgood and JustWatch that present and link to Netflix conflict in the same way I would (perhaps they have an agreement with Netflix to do so).

However, broad success of my platform would have some implications for Netflix, such as less influence on its viewers around what they watch (i.e. instead of browsing, deciding, then watching all on Netflix, they'd browse and decide on my platform, then just watch on Netflix). I can't ignore the potential risk that Netflix may forego exposure to retain control. I'm reminded of Southwest Airlines here, which doesn't allow its flight schedules to be presented on third party sites essentially for that same reason.

Does anyone have insights to how I should think about this risk of reliance on third party data, such as Netflix's content listing? Perhaps I should push on and deal with the issue down the road, but given that this data (streaming service content listings) would be such a critical part of my platform's use case, seems it deserves some serious thought now. Greatly appreciate feedback!!

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    This topic got talked about in the podcast on GMass

    Basically he just keeps going knowing this is a possibility and then builds a work around when google changes the api

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    do you have plans/ways to regionalise your content? That's the biggest issue with Netflix as there are different shows listed for different areas and they update/change the list all the time.

    Whilst I agree that Netflix can be pretty frustrating the way they shove their recommendations down your throat all the time, in my experience most people still rely on conventional things like recommendations from friends of what to watch, or wants trending online - rather than in netflix itself. Something to think about :)

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