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Surge in Netflix cancelations over 'Cuties' controversy was short-lived: 7Park Data

7Park Data is reporting the controversy over Netflix film "Cuties" — which led to mass cancelations of the streaming service — died down quickly. Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal joins Zack Guzman to discuss.

Video Transcript


ZACK GUZMAN: Welcome back to Live Market coverage here on "The Ticker." Right now, the overall indices are enjoying some gains here as the NASDAQ holds onto its gains, up by about 1.4%. Just hit a session high a moment ago, though it still looks to be a red week for the overall indices. S&P off more than 2% for the week. We'll see where things end here today.

But right now, I want to highlight the drama and the controversy facing Netflix. As we highlighted a few days ago, cancel Netflix and that trend, that hashtag, was trending on Twitter after controversy came out off of the film, "Cuties," featuring a highly sexualized dance routine and what critics said was too much sexualization of underage women there. And that led to some subscriptions getting canceled, but new data says not as many as some investors feared. It might be an overreaction, but shares down 15% since the beginning of the month.

And here to discuss that with us in today's Fame and Fortune is Yahoo Finance's, Alexandra Canal. And Ali, talk to me about what we're hearing here because it was something we discussed, but maybe a bit of what we saw happen to Facebook too where the controversy was big on social media, but not so much when it comes down to paying subscribers?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Right, and we did see that spike in cancellations follow-- following that cancel Netflix trend that permeated throughout all of social media, and that was according to multiple analytics firms, including 7Park Data. But 7Park Data is out with some new information today saying that those cancellations were most likely short lived. So according to their analysis following the release of "Cuties," cancellation rates hit a peak of about five times the normal amount that was observed back on January 1, 2019. But as you can see from this chart, those cancellations quickly leveled off to normal levels just one week later.

Now if we take a look at where those cancellations were concentrated in the United States, you'll see that middle America and some of those southern states had very high levels of cancellations, along with Maine and Alaska. Now this is according to data collected between September 10 and September 13 by 7Park. But again, if we look at that same map, just five days later, we'll see that it's pretty much returned to normal levels in data that was collected between September 18 and September 19. Now Netflix has defended this film saying its social commentary. When Yahoo Finance reached out for additional comments, they said they had nothing more to add.

Now although this was a short term blip on-- for Netflix, they have well over 182 million global subscribers, it does go to show the power of social media. We've seen these cancel parties before, cancel culture, and it's interesting to see that although it was short lived, it did hit a big company as huge as Netflix.

ZACK GUZMAN: You know, when we're talking about Netflix, that would be, I guess, the negative driving force behind the stock move that we've seen in the month of September. But it also enjoyed quite a bit of a night at the Emmys here when it swept. "Schitt's Creek" swept in their Emmys, had a great night there, and that, of course, is a show on Netflix. But talk to me about how big of a boost that might be in comparison to what we're seeing on the pressure coming from "Cuties" here because we've noted before, not a lot of people watch the Emmys. So how big of a boost is it really?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Exactly. So a new survey is revealing that just because a show wins an Emmy doesn't mean that that show is going to attract new viewers. So Maru/Blue polled a bunch of different Americans and found out that only 10% really cared whether or not a show won an Emmy that would cause them to go out there and potentially subscribe to the platform that that show lives on. So let's take two examples here.

You mentioned "Schitt's Creek." They completely dominated the Emmys on Sunday night, sweeping the comedy category. But even so, only 10% of those respondents said that those Emmy results would make them more likely to subscribe to Pop TV, which is the network that "Schitt's Creek" lives on.

Another example here can be "Succession," that won Best Drama on Sunday night. It's also a very big show. Always has a lot of buzz around it, but only 12% said that those results would cause them to go and subscribe to HBO.

Now on the other hand, if we take a look at network wins as a whole, it seems like those that are already subscribed to that particular network are pretty happy to know that the platform that they're paying money for is receiving a good amount of these awards. For example, over 30% of Netflix subscribers said it made them feel good to know that Netflix won 21 awards Sunday night. However, if you are not a Netflix subscriber, you don't really care. Only 7% of non-Netflix subscribers said those 21 wins would make them more likely to go out there and purchase the platform.

And as you said, I don't think these results are that surprising. We do know that overall TV viewership for the Emmys, and award shows in general, have been on the decline in recent years. This year, it hit a record low. Only 6.1 million people tuned in to the Emmys. That's significantly lower from 2019 when they had 6.9 million viewers.

However I do think with all of these award shows, there is a certain level of esteem and prestige. We do know that after a movie, for example, wins Best Picture at the Oscars, there's a pretty significant box office bump there. But when it comes to the Emmys in particular, I'm not sure if an Emmys win completely correlates to the success of a show. I don't think it's a negative at all because ultimately, these wins do lead to headlines, do lead to buzz, and I think that's the ultimate form of promotion for any television show.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, it might not be that big of a boost for Netflix, it absolutely was a big boost for "Schitt's Creek." "Variety" reporting that that show is going to launch into national syndication starting this weekend. So, I mean, there's that, as well as this boost continues to play out here. But Ali Canal, appreciate you bringing us that.