How The Solar Eclipse Caused Netflix A Giant Lunar Headache

Matthew Loffhagen
Netflix
(Photo: Netflix)

This story is just too fun not to share.

This week’s solar eclipse was a pretty big deal, to the point that you pretty much couldn’t miss it (especially if you were at the right place during the period when the sun disappeared and everything went dark).

Most of us had a lot of fun, but Netflix certainly didn’t – as it turned out, the entire experience was very bad for business.

Why? Because instead of spending our time glued to constant streaming television, we were all staring blankly up at the sky. Netflix endured a 10% reduction in viewing during the eclipse – something that their social media team considers to be a huge betrayal on the part of the service’s otherwise loyal customers.

Congratulations, Netflix, for sending out the most passive aggressive tweet of the week.

A ten percent drop might not sound like a big deal for Netflix, but at present, with The Defenders newly available for streaming, the service’s creative teams are relying on viewing numbers to justify their continued deal with Marvel. Iron Fist wasn’t exactly the hit that everyone had been hoping for, so if The Defenders’ numbers aren’t great either, there’s a possibility that the increasingly cancel-happy Netflix might reconsider the effort that’s going into these shows.

Netflix The Defenders
Source: Netflix

Of course, a 10% drop in viewers for the show during the eclipse won’t affect the results much, and it’ll hopefully be easy to explain away, but the dip will almost certainly lead to boardroom discussions about why The Defenders isn’t more appealing than the moon obscuring the sun.

This is compounded by the fact that people were still watching television during the eclipse – many simply switched off the streaming service and tuned into the news to see high quality footage of the event. Netflix currently simply isn’t equipped to compete with topical content.

This being the case, if Netflix announces a livestreaming service for major events in the future, don’t be too surprised. You’ll have a “giant rock” to thank for it.

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