Netflix is a content and production corporation based in the United States, launched by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1997 in California. It is a subscription-based online streaming platform where you can find various movies and TV series. Each year, the rate of Netflix subscriptions accelerates by 10%. In 2021, about 208 million Netflix subscribers were reported. Out of this shedload of the subscriber, 74 million were native (source).
In the beginning, Netflix used to deal with DVD sales and rental. In 2007, Hastings expanded the business to streaming media internationally. Netflix featured its first series in 2013, “House of Cards.”
At present, Netflix has taken control over all the other ways of watching movies or TV series. Online streaming has become people’s favorite. People wait for the new episodes of a TV series to be uploaded on Netflix.
The effect of anything on people depends upon how the thing under consideration is being used. You cannot simply boon or bane the effects without considering a big population. Any device, for example, a laptop or a mobile phone, has benefits as well as drawbacks. But the overall effect depends upon the device use. Similarly, the Netflix effect can only be determined by seeing how the audience is using this site. It also depends on how the content is curated and the social and economic impact it imposes.
In other words, the Netflix effect is when an unknown/new actor/actress rises to fame overnight due to a new series, which results in millions of people binge-watching the whole series.
Impact on Young Generation
Netflix imposes a major impact on youth. They say time is money, and our young generation is wasting this for Netflix. A study conducted in 2013 showed that about 33% of households with teens have signed up for Netflix. This rate rises to 37% for households with children younger than twelve years old.
Healthy activities should be preferred over binge-watching, and parents need to make sure of it. Unlike TV, the Netflix algorithm allows viewers to watch whatever they like. They don’t have to spend hours thinking about what to watch. Netflix gives you suggestions based on your watch history and rating of the show.
Impact on Movie and TV industry
This giant streaming media is taking charge of the TV and movie industry, thus harming them economically. Wondering why this competition even exists? Because content on Netflix is available right away once you have your subscription. This has eased Netflix’s marketing while impacting the TV industry.
With its advent, Netflix used to aid the TV industry. But after 2013, the streaming media is making the content that has gained centralized audiences’ attention towards itself. Netflix is producing content that is easy to tailor and related to their preferences. You get thousands of choices to watch from, unlike TV. Thus, the TV industry has been drastically affected while the audience migrated to Netflix.
Impact on Economy
Netflix has been a monster that has eaten up most of the entertainment industry’s economy. It has been a table-turner for the content makers as well. It began as DVD rental conveyance and transformed into a real-time feature, spending more than about $11 billion per year. The huge impact the streaming goliath has had on entertainment has driven viewers to coin the expression “The Netflix Effect.”
Netflix has proven to be a challenging force for the studio system, compelling them to switch from their traditional places. Many talented stars have been offered contracts, thus stealing them from the TV industry. These contracts have increased the competition between studio systems and Netflix. Hence, the overall economic system has been changed drastically.
Dr. Pamela Rutledge quoted that every new technology that comes in creates a moral panic. The concept of binge-watching has been discussed, and it imposes a moral dilemma among viewers, especially the youngsters. The adverse is due to screenagers ingesting a continuous dose of melodrama, sex, and violence. The content impacts the mental health of young adults and children.
Netflix has brought the young generation far away from reality, which has created hustle and panic among parents.
Impact on General Health
Binge-watching doesn’t affect mental health alone, but general health has also widely deteriorated. Screens make you addicted, and there is no doubt about it. You start compromising your diet and physical activity for watching your favorite TV series or movies, and you end up being a TV couch potato. Regular snacking on potato chips has become a norm, which decreases the nutritional value of your overall diet.
Sitting for more than four hours per day increases health risks. Fat deposition and fatigability increase while overall stamina decreases. Muscles weaken, and the habit of movement vanishes, further leading you to several health risks.
If a comparison is made between the general health of an active and sedentary, couch-bound teen, the latter would be a victim of moral panic. So, the focus should be directed on what’s fruitful.
Allowing the Advent of Newer Ideas
Netflix allows writers and directors to implement whatsoever ideas and showcase them on screens, which they were hunting for a long time. Diversity of thoughts have been allowed to be streamed in the entertainment world. Writers and directors have earned this opportunity which they were not given before Netflix. Autonomy is awarded to ideas and content that was lacking in this industry.
Access to Multilingual and Immense Content
Before the advent of Netflix, there were certain requirements for entering into the entertainment industry. Casts were supposed to be well aware of their native language to do the show, but Netflix has allowed its audience to access diverse and multilingual content. There are no restrictions, and the entertainment industry has grown rapidly. Pamela Rutledge
Consequently, languages from all over the world are being welcomed with open hands, for example, Spanish, German, and Japanese, Hindi, etc. Series like Money Heist and Dark are few examples. The audience is embracing this change.
Netflix has increased the opportunities. The introduction of new faces and new talents has increased the interest among the audience. New languages have been brought to screens that have lessened discrimination. More audience around the globe is brought closer on a single platform because of this change.
Where there are benefits, there are drawbacks too. Netflix undoubtedly has eased our life, but it has excessive binge-watching and on-screen time, especially in teenagers. There is a famous and well-known saying that excess of everything is bad. Yes, it saves your time to book cinema tickets and go out to watch a film. But that doesn’t mean you should spend hours sitting in front of your television watching content.
Children and youngsters have become addicted, and it’s disturbing their education as well as physical and mental health. Family time is decreasing while internet hours are increasing. The focus has been diverted from physical activities, sports, and homework to binge-watching and being a couch potato, risking health.