In the hopes of cornering the market on programming for ‘tweens and teens, Netflix has announced plans to invest heavily in this generation.
Besides picking up teen favorites from years past, like “Friends,” “Gossip Girl,” and “Gilmore Girls,” Netflix has licensed films from popular YouTube personalities and picked up some new original series, including “Lost & Found Music Studios” and “Fuller House,” the sequel to the series “Full House,” which ran from 1987 to 1995.
Netflix’s announcement comes on the heels of news that MTV, once the most popular network for teenagers, suffered a 17 percent ratings drop in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to the same timeframe a year ago. The loss is attributed to the general decline in traditional television viewing among MTV’s target demographic, one that Netflix hopes to capture.
Teenagers Impact Subscriptions
Although teenagers aren’t subscribing to Netflix themselves, their parents seem to take their opinions very seriously.
When Netflix surveyed its 63 million subscribers, about a quarter of parents of 7-to-17-year-olds responded that their children’s opinion “counts a lot” when making decisions about digital subscription services. Netflix is hoping to not only capitalize on the incredible influence this demographic has on their parents’ decision making, but to start to build a new generation of loyal Netflix subscribers.
Capturing the teenage market may be an elusive goal, considering how fickle and fleeting trends among this demographic can be. So far, Netflix has struck out with its teen-targeted films “Smosh: The Movie” and “Bad Night,” but the company is hopeful that it has a finger on the pulse of the market.
Erik Barmack, Netflix’s vice president for global independent content, isn’t worried in the least about a few unpopular pieces, saying, “We want shows or movies that a particular demographic is going to love. It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing.”
As Netflix continues to develop and acquire rights to content for various demographics across its membership base, it is keeping an eye to the future. Although they can’t get their own credit cards yet, teens and ‘tweens may well guide media trends moving forward. This first streaming generation will soon be making its own subscription and consumption decisions, leading the way away from traditional television.