To all the audiences I’ve tweeted to before : Netflix, teen girls, and social media marketing

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Vidolova, Latina Sabinova

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In the late 2010s, Netflix assembled a significant collection of teen-centric media on its service, which it extensively promoted on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. This thesis examines Netflix’s relationship with teen audiences as framed in the social media marketing materials for 13 Reasons Why (2017–2020) and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018), as well as in the service’s intra-industrial communication and engagements with press from 2016 to 2020. Illustrating how Netflix echoed The CW and Freeform’s earlier pursuit of teen viewers, this study highlights the continuities in marketing strategies between emergent streaming services and legacy niche networks. On social media accounts dedicated to targeting young women, Netflix focused on fashion and beauty, boys, and female role models. The teen femininities Netflix promoted most heavily were straight, white, and thin. On other accounts, Netflix’s marketing efforts centered parents or older women instead of teens as key viewers of its teen shows and movies. The different modes of address Netflix cultivated point to social media services as valuable sites through which to examine how Netflix constructs audience segments. Furthermore, Netflix’s social media strategies marked a shift in brand promotion from selling a lifestyle to addressing audiences as a friend.


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