Netflix Nation: 50% of U.S. adults are watching

January 4, 2018

Not only has the audience for Netflix grown significantly since 2015, but the composition of its user base has changed dramatically as well, based on findings of a recent study by Civic Science. The decade-old website now enables about 50% of U.S. adults to watch streaming content at least occasionally, while 29% watch a few times per week or more.

Back in May 2015, when Civic Science published its last detailed study, only 39% of U.S. adults watched Netflix and 23% watched weekly. That’s an addition of several million new Netflix junkies in a fairly short amount of time, the researchers said.

But who are these millions of people? And what does the next generation of “Netflixophiles”  look like? According to Civic Science, the demographics of viewers have changed significantly. Among the key results:

  • The average income of Netflix users is up substantially and concerns about pricing have gone down;
  • More parents (aged 55+) are watching than ever before;
  • New Netflix users are much more influenced by social media in their shopping and entertainment decisions—perhaps explaining why they chose Netflix to begin with; and
  • Viewer interests have changed to such subjects as food and climate change.

Civic Science comments, “There’s no sign in our data that Netflix’s user growth is going to slow down anytime soon. We’re tracking these population shifts every day, so we’ll know if anything changes. But [we] wouldn’t be surprised to see Netflix Nation look more and more like the full U.S. population over the next two years.”

Research contact: jd@civicscience.com

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