For over a decade, Netflix has monopolized the streaming industry and become a household name. Netflix is widely considered to be the most mainstream method of watching TV and movies from any device. However, the streaming industry will soon be changing dramatically. Our sentiment analysis demonstrated that Netflix cannot afford to be complacent. Their competitors are creeping up on them and developing strategies to dethrone it as king of instant streaming.
Originally, Netflix’s business model was a mail-order DVD service when it launched in 1997. The company only blew up internationally after releasing its instant streaming service — the first of its kind, in 2007. Since its original launch, Netflix has skyrocketed in popularity. Currently, Netflix has over 139 million subscribers, narrowly leading its main competitor HBO GO (136 million), while Hulu trails behind with a meek 26.8 million subscriber count.
Netflix has experienced many setbacks, namely losing a variety of content in bidding wars with other streaming services. They also were unable to renew contracts with Disney, NBC, and HBO. This ended in beloved content such as The Office, Pretty Little Liars, and dozens of Disney movies scheduled for indefinite deletion from Netflix’s platform. Netflix was also almost forced to remove their most popular TV series — Friends, due to a lapsing contract with Warner Media, but they spent over $100 million to keep it on their service.
This caused a massive uproar on social media from Netflix subscribers who were unable to stream some of their favorite content:
Instant Streaming Sentiment Analysis
The real reason behind massive media companies pulling their content off Netflix is more significant than just an expired contract. Disney and NBC plan to independently launch their own streaming services and rival Netflix. HBO is also moving the majority of the titles it owns exclusively to its streaming service. This caused Netflix to scramble to create new content to keep its subscribers satisfied.
How did Netflix respond to this crisis?
Netflix has not let the removal of popular content hinder their success. Instead of dwelling on setbacks, the company has taken an entrepreneurial approach by amplifying its production of ‘Netflix Originals’. This strategy has proven to be incredibly successful for Netflix. According to CNBC, Netflix dedicated over $12 billion of funding to produce, license and purchase content. Titles produced by Netflix such as Stranger Things and Orange Is the New Black have boosted Netflix’s viewership exponentially. Audiences of all ages eagerly await new seasons and took to social media to express their excitement and support:
The Stranger Things Phenomenon
What is it about the quirky sci-fi show, Stranger Things, that captivated such a wide variety of viewers seemingly overnight? The combination of action-packed adventure with a hint of nostalgia (Season 3 takes place in 1985) made for the perfect combination and solidified Stranger Things as the most popular Netflix show to date.
We used our Social Listening Platform to conduct sentiment analysis on this subject. Our findings clearly illustrate that Stranger Things accounts for the majority of online conversation when compared to other popular content. This suggests that people are more excited to talk about Stranger Things Season 3 than complain about Netflix removing The Office:
The sentiment analysis presented by the timeline below illustrates the (predominantly positive) buzz generated on social networks about various Netflix Originals. The spike in early July was prompted by the release of Season 3 of Stranger Things on July 4th.
Economically speaking, it has been difficult for Netflix. Since 2011, the company’s free cash flow has been steadily declining, and they are currently losing more money than they are making. How can they combat this? In order to make sure Netflix survives the steadily heightening competitive market, they should stick to what works. This means not spending excessive money on retaining shows and movies that are less popular, trying to keep cherished content, and continuing to produce original shows to attract and retain subscribers.
Netflix can learn a lot by monitoring online conversations and conducting sentiment analysis on those conversations. If they plan on being one of the companies that survives the looming influx of new competition in the streaming industry, it’s essential to know what their customers are saying on social media, and how it’s impacting their brand. Learn more about social listening.