Netflix and Their Newest Subscribers

Note: This article was originally published on the CivicScience blog on May 28, 2015. 

In the first quarter of 2015, Netflix added more subscribers than projected, tallying 4.88 million subscribers, compared to their forecast of 4.05 million new subscribers. In terms of U.S. customers, Netflix added almost half a million (0.48 million) more subscribers than the company had originally projected.

The people who are using Netflix are all very different. They have different demographics, personalities, TV and movie preferences, and their reason for subscribing can differ from one another. And despite Netflix downplaying the issue of shared accounts across different households, it is a problem among all streaming services. Gathering data on what people watch and when or how often they watch may not provide a clear view into the subscriber’s preferences and behaviors. And the user data may not be able to help predict who the future subscribers will be.

We wanted to get an idea of who the Netflix subscribers are, so we specifically looked at three different segments:

  • Recent subscribers – customers who have joined Netflix over the past year.
  • Long-term subscribers – customers who have had an account longer than a year.
  • Potential subscribers – those who don’t use the service yet, but would like to.

Our full report published today provides more detail, but here are some of the highlights and findings:

Recent Subscribers:

  • Slightly more likely to be younger to middle-aged individuals.
  • They are slightly more likely to be parents, have larger household sizes than average, and are more likely to have school-aged children living with them.
  • Keep up with the latest trends and current events in the TV and movie industry, and consume media more in general.

Long-Term Subscribers:

  • Are younger in age than recent and potential subscribers.
  • Are more likely than average to have a larger household.
  • Are more engaged with Netflix than recent subscribers.
  • More tech savvy than recent subscribers.

Potential Subscribers

  • 58% are women, which is slightly higher than the general population.
  • Are more likely than the other groups to still live with their parents.

In the past year, Netflix has been attracting younger to middle-aged individuals who spend a lot of time on social media and are influenced by social media. Many of those who would like to sign up for the streaming service are younger in age, still live with their parents, and have a lower income than average. Netflix is still adding many new users and it looks like that will continue, however, future subscribers will probably have different behaviors, preferences, and demographics from past subscribers.

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