Netflix’s Global Dominance is Bad for Producers

Netflix keeping data on the demographics of viewers creates difficulty for producers

Will Rosenblum, Staff Writer

In 2019, Netflix had nearly 150 million users, cementing itself as an important part of the film industry today. Despite its success, Netflix’s popularity has deeply damaged the film and media industry. The problem begins in the power that Netflix holds over creators by keeping data on the demographics of the watchers private. One of the most vital components of creating popular films repeatedly is knowing the demographics of your consumers. Netflix withholds this data, leaving studios and producers with nothing more than a shot in the dark for what the public wants for the next movie, problematically putting producers at a huge disadvantage by not knowing what films to make next. Delphine Ernotte, an outspoken critic on what Netflix has done to independent films in Europe, calls Netflix a “Devil” when asked about a recent film company partnering with Netflix, scared of the inevitable problems Netflix will cause.

By not releasing numbers, Netflix is able to put up a facade of success that may not actually be there, pressuring people to keep up with what they think is the latest and most popular content just from hearing friends talk about it or seeing it online.

Despite this, no changes will be made in the foreseeable future simply because of the popularity of Netflix. Atreyus Bhavsar ‘22 embodies the common perspectives that fuels the popularity of Netflix, adding “it’s pretty convenient and there is a lot of variety.”

Additionally, Netflix can use this data to advertise in more specific and efficient places across the internet. Not only is this counter-productive as Netflix’s own directors don’t know the data, but hurts independent creators as they are not able to make up for this with ludicrous amounts of advertising money like many big-time studios can. Furthermore, the success of Netflix has caused massive mergers to happen within the film business, hindering creators not affiliated with large companies.