In 2006, hardly anyone knew what Netflix was unless you were one of the members receiving DVDs by mail. Now, the streaming giant is changing the landscape of Hollywood, and the world has created a term for the phenomenon: The Netflix Effect. The term refers to the way that Netflix is able to catapult unknown, overlooked, or unpopular actors, movies, or shows to fame (like Ballers or Suits) as millions of people binge through content online.
Netflix has given a second life to Suits, and now Dwayne Johnson’s HBO series Ballers is experiencing a surge in popularity.
Deadline reports how Netflix has recently revived older shows to viral-worthy popularity simply by having the series available to stream in its catalog. Nielsen reports that series like Suits or Ballers experienced a resurgence in popularity when they were made available on Netflix. Even months since its Netflix release, Suits, originally aired on a cable network (USA), continued to captivate audiences, racking up a staggering 2.8 billion viewing minutes in a single week.
HBO’s decision to license shows to Netflix, such as the sports dramedy Ballers, demonstrated the symbiotic relationship between streaming and traditional television. Ballers found a new audience on Netflix, accumulating 696 million viewing minutes in its first week, showcasing the power of streaming platforms to rejuvenate older content, even if it’s from a competing service, and introduce it to a wider audience.
In addition to converted content like Ballers, Netflix’s original content also plays a pivotal role in the Netflix Effect. Shows like Painkiller and Depp v. Heard were released to renowned popularity, showing that even without password sharing, Netflix is still raking in views. Painkiller garnered 1.1 billion viewing minutes in a week, and Depp v. Heard drew in 704 million minutes.
The Netflix Effect has reshaped the entertainment industry in profound ways.
But Netflix better watch out, as it’s not the only streaming service seeming to cash in on this phenomenon. While Netflix has gotten pretty good at generating views from older content like Suits or borrowed content like Ballers, Disney+ is beginning to move up in the hierarchy of streamers as well. Disney+, a relative newcomer to the streaming landscape, has also experienced tremendous success with the Australian animated series Bluey.
Bluey blew Netflix’s Ballers off the charts with an accumulated 1 billion viewing minutes from the show. Meanwhile, Suits still knocked Bluey out of the water as the most popular show of the summer. With a consistent presence on Nielsen’s streaming charts, Bluey highlights how streaming platforms can introduce international content to global audiences and generate incredible success.
Netflix is also changing how networks measure a show’s success. Traditional viewership metrics are evolving as streaming platforms continue to dominate. Shows like Only Murders in the Building and The Summer I Turned Pretty may not have made the overall Nielsen list like Suits or Ballers, but they still garnered significant attention.
Since streaming on Netflix, Ballers is more popular now than it was when it first aired.
The Netflix Effect has reshaped the entertainment industry in profound ways. From breathing new life into older TV shows like Suits or Ballers to redefining viewership metrics and demographics, streaming platforms like Netflix have become the epicenter of our entertainment consumption.
As these platforms continue to evolve and expand, their influence on the industry will only grow stronger, making it all the more imperative that the systems of old Hollywood adapt to allow for the fair implementation of changing technology.