The Netflix Effect is Real
Netflix is pretty powerful when you think about it. With 167 million subscribers worldwide as of the end of 2019, Netflix and it's contact undeniably shapes and influences culture. This is something we've already known but when you look at the data and the specifics, it's pretty crazy how much impact a good binge-worthy show can have on a certain product or separate industry.
The Queen's Gambit is a perfect example of this. In October 23, 2020 the show debuted on the platform and is now the streaming service’s most-watched scripted limited series. To date, 62 million households have watched the show. As a result, sales of chess sets rose by 87 percent in the United States while sales of chess books jumped by 603 percent, according to U.S. Retail Tracking Service data from NPD. Google searches for "how to play chess" are at an all-time high in 9 years. Chess.com has gained 5x the amount of new players and the original novel "The Queens Gambit" is now a New York Times bestseller 37 years after its release! All of this isn't just a coincidence; it's the Netflix Effect.
The Netflix Effect is when a new series or original movie singlehandedly skyrockets an actor/product/an idea into fame and popularity basically overnight - a result of millions of people binge watching a show. “The idea that a streaming television series can have an impact on product sales is not a new one, but we are finally able to view it through the data,” said Juli Lennett, toys industry advisor for NPD, in a statement.
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