50% of U.S. adults watch streaming content on Netflix

Not only has Netflix’s audience grown significantly in the past two years, but the composition of its user base has changed dramatically as well.

Back in May of 2015, Civicscience published a detailed study on the profile of Netflix users, as well as people who didn’t use the service yet but appeared poised to do so. Among a ton of other findings were signs of an emerging segment of parents signing up around that time.

Today, approximately 50% of U.S. adults watch streaming content on Netflix at least occasionally, while 29% watch a few times per week or more. Compare that to the data in October of 2015, when only 39% of U.S. adults watched Netflix and 23% watched weekly.

  • Today’s Netflix population is much more gender-balanced, showing a rise in the number of male users over the past two years.
  • The average income of Netflix users has risen significantly.
  • One of the biggest jumps (as we saw in the tea leaves) has been among parents, who represented only 32% of users in October 2015 but 48% of users today.
  • New Netflix users are much more heavily influenced by social media in their shopping and entertainment decisions, which could explain why they gave in to the Netflix seduction in the first place.
  • Early Netflix users were much more price-sensitive than the new generation, suggesting that the platform’s early appeal was its cost relative to other forms of TV.
  • New Netflix users are more likely to be foodies, following trends in food and cooking, cooking dinner for their families, and researching recipes online.
  • Interestingly, both groups watch TV less than average overall.
  • New Netflix users are much more likely to be concerned about things like climate change and buying environmentally-friendly products.
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