Netflix survey finds people are resigned to spoilers

5 min read


If you’re reading this on the internet, and chances are good that you are, you’ve been hit with spoilers for your favourite movies & TV series no matter how hard you’ve tried to avoid it. Nick loves them, if the wild eyes and frothing mouth are anything to go by after telling him that Steven Seagal saved the environment with Taekwando, defeated the corporation and left the natives in peace. In a survey released yesterday Netflix, as reported by THR, polled 1,506 Canadian TV viewers on their spoiler-y habits and it included some interesting findings.

Approximately 90% of respondents confirmed that hearing spoilers does not make them want to stop watching a series, with 72% saying that plot twists or endings being spoiled by others in normal conversation is simply “a fact of life”. A further 69% of respondents further admitted to accidentally (or “accidentally”) spoiling shows for others; with 20% admitting to throwing minor spoilers into conversations on a regular basis. 28% of respondents even admitted that reading spoilers for shows they haven’t watched could motivate them to watch the series.

Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, said in the statement:

“As TV evolves, consumer behavior is evolving right along with it. When we premiered all episodes of our series at once across the world, it created a new dynamic around spoilers.” And…

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“After season two of House of Cards launched, there was a definite shift in the social conversation about a key plot twist in episode one. That was the moment everything changed.”

That makes a lot of sense given how connected the world is on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else you young kids use today (MySpace, Google+!). People want to talk about the series, and movies for that matter, that they’ve seen and if you’re on social media you’re going to be exposed to that. No matter how much I tried to avoid spoilers I knew beforehand that in Game of Thrones,  (SPOILERS IN COMING) which I only finished watching a month ago, (SPOILERS ARRIVING) Ned Stark got his noggin chopped off & Tywin Lannister got skewered on the (porcelain) throne END SPOILERS. That said, it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of those scenes, in fact I’d go so far as to say that it heightened my anticipation for them because the enjoyment is in seeing the scene unfold in front of your eyes. But as with all things, there are spoiler lines in the sand for all people. I’m perfectly okay with minor spoilers around characters and plot points, but I will shun the person who reveals the identity of the murderer.

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The Netflix survey also divided the personalities of spoilers into five distinct categories, all of whom seem very familiar; and the last of those is the most despised by all those polled:

  • Clueless spoilers – who assumes everyone has already watched the show
  • Shameless spoilers – who reveal spoilers knowingly
  • Impulsive spoilers – who can’t help themselves revealing spoilers because of excitement
  • Coded spoilers – who reveal cryptic spoilers (my personal favourite)
  • Power spoilers – who “plays with plot twists to get inside people’s heads because everything’s a game to them.”

How do you feel about spoilers? Do you seek out every titbit of information you can find, do you lock yourself away from the world to avoid them, or do you seek a happy medium between the two?

Last Updated: September 23, 2014

  • Spaffy

    “Steven Seagal saved the environment with Taekwando”

    You just spoiled every Steven Seagal movie for me 🙁

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Only all the movies for the last decade or so, in the earlier ones he was a renegade Italian cop who fought the Mafia. DAMNIT, I DID IT AGAIN!

      • Stop watching Seagal’s films. It only encourages him.

  • I manage to avoid spoilers quite easily, mainly because I don’t read about stuff I still plan to watch.

  • It’s true. Take the case of Game of Thrones for instance. The spoilers were everywhere and eventually people resigned to the fact that the plot would be revealed to them even before they got the chance to watch the latest episode.

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