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How Netflix Grew Its Audience by Over 125k in Just 2 Weeks

Netflix, which debuted in 2007, has disrupted the way we watch TV and impacted the whole media landscape. With over 33.3 million subscribers worldwide, the streaming service has been the reason behind a 50% decline in traditional TV viewership. It has made streaming videos so popular that half of US households now have a streaming service, as younger consumers do not need TV anymore.

How to Define Social Impact and Communicate Your Performance

However, the competition for streaming services is heating up. Since its launch in April of this year, Amazon’s subscription-based streaming video service, Amazon Video, has been providing customers with tons of movies, series, and provoking original content, becoming a serious competitor with Netflix.

While Amazon Video is newer as a streaming service, it is already gaining over Netflix. Amazon Video already has a higher number of service subscribers as compared to Netflix. Though they don’t have as many viewers, Amazon Video’s efforts to create original content and win viewers over is paying off.

Let’s look at which brand is winning consumers–on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter–and how.

Audience Growth Continues for Both Netflix and Amazon Video

Netflix had a head start over Amazon Video, but, in our data period from Sept 3-14, 2016, both services saw growth across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Netflix gained the most new audience members on Instagram (+56.4K), and Facebook contributed to the majority of Amazon Video’s audience growth.

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 2.13.36 PM

Instagram Is the Fastest Growth Channel for Amazon

While Amazon Video saw the most audience growth on Facebook, Instagram was its fastest-growing channel. Amazon Video generated almost 2 times the growth of Netflix on Instagram for the data period.Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 2.13.02 PMAmazon ran a campaign to win followers on Instagram by rewarding people who followed the brand with Star Wars goodies. This post generated a lot of engagement and drove the peak for audience growth on Sept 10 (in the chart above).  

Social Platform Preferences Differ for Netflix and Amazon Video

Although both Amazon Video and Netflix are catering to streaming media services subscribers, especially 18-to-34-year-olds, when it comes to social media, their audience’s preferences differ. Both brands post photos on Twitter the most, followed by videos on Facebook, but for Netflix, Instagram photos generated the most engagement of any content type across all social channels. Amazon Video’s audience engaged most with photos on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 2.12.49 PM

Netflix Shared User-Generated Content, Amazon Videos Used Influencer Posts

On average, Netflix has higher engagement per post on Instagram, driven up as Netflix shares user-generated content with its audience. Amazon Video’s audience was more engaged on Facebook as influencers mentioned Amazon Video in their posts.Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 2.12.36 PMUnderstanding comparisons of cross-channel metrics is crucial for informing your brand’s social media strategy. This kind of analysis can help you prioritize resources based on the channel that gives you the highest return or the type of content that resonates the most across networks.

Amazon Video Gets Earned Mentions on Facebook, Netflix Gets Earned Mentions on Instagram

82% of posts on Amazon’s Facebook timeline for this data period were earned mentions for the brand. Many of the earned mentions on Amazon Video’s page were from influencers who talked about their shows airing on Amazon Video. This earned post drove the most engagement for Amazon on Facebook:

Amazon Video was mentioned in this post from Jean-Claude Van Damme, the global martial arts and film celebrity who leads the Amazon series Jean-Claude Van Johnson. Using celebrities to drive exposure to your content and influence your audience is vital brand strategy for building credibility and boosting sales (engagement, in this case)

While Netflix did not have any earned mentions on Facebook, they received mentions on Instagram as they shared a video from one of their followers (@lauraiz), where she dressed her little girl as one of the characters from the popular Netflix series “Stranger Things.” The post has received over 50.3k in engagement from the audience. Netflix also shared @lauraiz’s earlier post of the baby dressed as another “Stranger Things” character, Eleven. That post drove over 45k in engagement for the brand.

Baby Barb. 📷: @lauraiz

A post shared by Netflix US (@netflix) on

Earned mentions can help build relationships with the audience. They provide an opportunity to engage your audience in conversation with your brand. Mentions have the potential to give brands exposure in front of vastly different audiences.

Also, sharing user-generated content gives brands interesting material to share with their audience and encourages the audience to post content worthy of being re-shared, which drives engagement.

Different Content Strategies to Increase Engagement

Amazon Video prefers giveaways as a strategy to generate audience engagement across all their social channels.Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 2.13.19 PM

Netflix prefers sharing information related to their shows.Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 2.13.27 PM

Which brand will win the streaming videos market? That remains to be seen, but the competition between these two brands for engaging their audience on social is close. Do you have ideas about which other strategies brands can deploy on social to engage their audiences and beat the competition? Let us know on Twitter or leave a comment below.

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Tripti Shrivastava

I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!

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