the geography of netflix

Mario pointed me to this fascinating NY Times tool that allows you to track Netflix rentals by zip code in some of the nation’s major metropolitan areas. You could waste a lot of time looking at this stuff. Or if you happen to be someone like Omar or Mario, you could turn this data set into a fancy ASR article.

My favorite Netflix rentals from 2009 were Mad Men, seasons 1-2, but it appears that my neighbors in the 60091 zip code weren’t that into the show.  It made the top 50 in the zip codes to the north (Winnetka) and south (Evanston) of mine though. Maybe I should seek greater homophily and move.

Written by brayden king

January 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Posted in brayden, culture, fun

4 Responses

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  1. This is way cool. After completing a BS in criminology, I chose social science for my master’s because it allows more exploration and integration. With global crime for the core, I added cognate electives in international economics and now geography. GIS is a versatile and robust means of expressing and understanding complex data about how people live.

    I am printing the story out to take to class tomorrow. (Now… can I add a layer on crimes to see if there is a correlation….)


    Michael E. Marotta

    January 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

  2. Thanks for the post! This is a neat tool. Brayden, you might like living in my current zip code; Mad Men, Season 1 was a top 10 rental in 02138 this year.



    January 10, 2010 at 7:09 pm

  3. One interesting empirical result from these data: “We predict and find that ‘should’ DVDs (e.g., documentaries) are held significantly longer than ‘want’ DVDs (e.g., action films) within customer. Similarly, we also predict and find that people are more likely to rent DVDs in one order and return them in the reverse order when ‘should’ DVDs are rented before ‘want’ DVDs.”

    Katherine L. Milkman, T. R., Max H. Bazerman (2009). Highbrow Films Gather Dust: Time-Inconsistent Preferences and Online DVD Rentals. Management Science, 55(6), 1047-1059.



    January 11, 2010 at 3:14 am

  4. Thanks for the paper tip. Looks interesting.



    January 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm

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