Netflix Taps Into Young Viewership With Strong Black Leads

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By CultureBanx Team

  • 39% of millennials use Netflix to view video content on their TV’s
  • Shows with a black storyline are drawing substantial non-black viewership

Netflix (NFLX +2.63%) is continuing its ascent to the top of living rooms across the U.S. particularly with the highly coveted 18-34 year old demographic. The streaming service is outpacing Google’s (GOOGL +1.22%) YouTube service specifically when it comes to young people consuming video content. Is this lead going to increase as black content becomes more of a mainstay for the platform?

Why This Matters: Cowen’s research highlights the importance of Netflix in the home, particularly among millennials. The company found 39% of survey respondents age 18-34 use Netflix most often to view video content on their TV’s. This number far outpaces YouTube at 17%. Basic cable came in at 13% and Amazon Prime Video received a little over 3% of the action.  

Streaming services which have a much broader reach than traditional TV have a lot to gain by betting on black content. Cowen analysts wrote the company’s investment in high quality episodic content across all genres and feature films likely ensures Netflix will retain the top spot in the living room over time, in their view.

The streaming company is amping up its push to put out content for younger black audiences which is exactly the demographic Cowen sees Netflix having a strong connection to. They are rolling out shows or specials with strong black leads like Kevin Hart, Zendaya and Rashida Jones.

While Netflix is leading the race Google has very deep pockets and could easily outpace its top competitor in this space. They may also need to keep an eye on tech giant Apple (AAPL +1.39%), since it just inked a deal with media mogul Oprah Winfrey. Apple has also stated its willing to invest up to $1 billion in original content this year.

What’s Next:  Netflix plans to invest nearly $8 billion in original content this year and shares are up more than 105% year to date. Look out to see how their focus on black content and millennials impacts their second quarter earnings when Netflix reports on July 16.

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