The algorithm is definitely influencing decision making during the development phase, as I've heard filmmakers talk about it. Specific things like "our data tells us people will turn the movie off if you have character 'X' do 'Y' at 'Z' time... you don't want people to turn your movie off, do you?". It's why alot of netflix movies and shows look and feel the same, regardless of premise/storyline. It is an extension of the way studios develop scripts, by using box office metrics... netflix's data is even more "evolved" for lack of a better term, as it's all based on capturing real time user behavior. Netflix isn't capturing that data for nothing... they use it to keep their subscribers. And you keep subs by continuing to give them what they're used to.