Exclusive data shows traffic to Netflix’s US cancellation webpage spiked after the controversial film ‘Cuties’ was released on the streaming service

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The award-winning French film “Cuties” has sparked backlash from Netflix subscribers, and third-party data suggests some people in the US may actually be following through on their threats to cancel the service.

SimilarWeb, a company that tracks app and website usage, spotted an uptick in traffic to Netflix’s US cancellation-confirmation page — the page the displays when a user successfully cancels a subscription— after “Cuties” was released on Netflix on September 9.

Visits to the US desktop version of Netflix’s cancellation-confirmation page spiked 187% on September 10 compared with the day before, surpassing 35,000 visits. Traffic to the cancellation page climbed to nearly 42,000 visits on September 12.

Netflix’s subscriber base has grown at an unprecedented clip since the pandemic forced people indoors. It remains to be seen how much such an uptick in cancellations would impact Netflix’s growth. Some subscribers may have been planning to cancel Netflix anyway.

But the data points to the “Cuties” film being the breaking point for some.

“The numbers are so unusually high,”Ariane Turley, SimilarWeb’s lead media-industry consultant, told Business Insider. “I think it’s driven specifically by the movie ‘Cuties.’ Otherwise you’d expect to see other peaks.”

Traffic to Netflix’s US cancellation-confirmation page from September 10 to 12 was at the average-daily levels that SimilarWeb has tracked in the last year. By comparison, in August, average daily visits to Netflix’s US cancellation-confirmation page totaled roughly 14,000. (There was a slight uptick on August 20, when Netflix apologized about the “Cuties” poster.) Last October, there were about 13,000 average daily visits to the cancellation page.

Variety also reported that Netflix’s cancellation rate in the US climbed on September 12 to nearly eight times higher than the average daily levels recorded in August 2020, based on data from the research company YipitData.

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The ‘Cuties’ controversy may be a growing pain that Netflix will have to adjust to

“Cuties” is a coming-of-age story about a French-Senegalese girl from a traditional Muslim upbringing who joins a dance troupe. The film — which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won filmmaker Maimouna Doucouré a directing award — first caught public ire in August, after Netflix released a poster for the film that portrayed its child stars in suggestive outfits and poses. The company swiftly took down the artwork and apologized, saying it was “inappropriate” and not representative of the film, as Deadline first reported.

The day after “Cuties” hit Netflix on September 9, the hashtag “#CancelNetflix” started trending on Twitter in the US. Some people, including parents, politicians, and conspiracy theorists, were calling on Netflix to remove the film. A review by the conservative Parents Television Council said the movie “normalizes the sexualization of little girls.”

Netflix encouraged people to watch the film before judging it.

“‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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