The Gist: After Netflix’s announcement that the Obamas will produce new content with the streaming service, 21% of the general population reported that they already canceled or have plans to cancel their Netflix subscription. But is #BoycottNetflix a real threat for the streaming giant?
You may have heard of #BoycottNetflix, wherein people threatened to end—or made noise about already ending—their Netflix subscription. The reason for the boycott is over the concern of Netflix leaning to the left via the content they produce. This boycott stems from the announcement that Barack and Michelle Obama signed on with the streaming service to produce original content. Netflix also added former UN advisor Susan Rice to its board. We wondered what the implications of this were almost two weeks after the initial Obama announcement. Did Netflix already lose subscribers because of all of this? In short, yes.
Since they’re cut off above, here are the answers in full:
- Blue: I plan to subscribe to Netflix because of this news
- Orange: I already subscribed to Netflix because of this news
- Green: I have Netflix, and this news doesn’t change that
- Red: I plan to cancel my Netflix subscription because of this news
- Light Blue: I already canceled my Netflix subscription because of this news
- Purple: I don’t have Netflix now, and this news doesn’t change that
#BoycottNetflix is substantial so far
9% of the general population reported they have already pulled the plug on their account due to the Obama news.
Furthermore, 12% say they intend to cancel because of the plans. It may or may not happen, though.
And, as every action has an equal and opposite reaction—4% say they will subscribe to Netflix because of this news, and 2% say they already have.
Interesting. The results of people who said they already canceled their account were surprising to us and much higher than we expected.
We already know that 47% of the general population subscribes to Netflix. Maybe 9% canceling won’t make too much of a dent. But that 12% with plans to cancel, should they follow through, just might.
Who knows though, we’ve seen these boycotts before. This one may be different because it comes down to an easy-to-cancel subscription service. Whereas for brands like Starbucks or Nordstrom, people may not have gone there much anyhow, or if they did, it would be more difficult to boycott or avoid, after a while.
Looking at political ideology, we are reminded, again, that it’s all about politics (heck, everything is).
Jarringly, but not surprisingly so, this comes right down to party lines.
We imagine Netflix must have seen this coming or at least figured people could kick up a fuss in our steadily divided society.
The Main Thing: The data speaks for itself. So now we wait to see if this shift in Netflix subscribers has staying power, or if these people return to binge content after a while. Or, will Netflix earn a slew of new subscribers because of the household name that is Obama? Maybe that’s the point, and that’s all that matters to the streaming giant. But, as it stands now, based on our research, it would still be a net loss for Netflix if people who plan to cancel their subscription follow through with it.