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How Netflix drives culture, in one chart

The streaming service expects to add nine million new subscribers before the end of the year.

A boy and a girl hold hands across a picnic table in the Netflix movie “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Netflix

In half a decade, Netflix has gone from “streaming video service with a kinda mediocre selection” to arguably the most influential outlet in all of American television.

Netflix’s quarterly letter to shareholders, released with its third-quarter results this afternoon, includes the usual discussion of the quarter and the broader industry. But it also includes this great chart, showing its young stars’ prolific growth in Instagram followers after their Netflix launches:

Netflix star Instagram Followers chart Netflix

“We’re also thrilled that Netflix has been a launching pad for a new generation of global stars like Millie Bobby Brown, Jacob Elordi, Noah Centineo and Gaten Matarazzo,” Netflix writes. “When our service helps our talent develop huge fan bases (from small followings to over 10 million Instagram followers), we can attract the best talent in the world. This explosive growth in popularity is a good indicator that our shows and stars are breaking out around the planet.”

In other words, its hit original shows like “Stranger Things” and films like “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” don’t just drive subscriber growth — they also drive culture.

Netflix announced today that it grew by seven million subscribers during the past quarter and that it expects to add more than nine million subscribers by the end of the year, passing 145 million globally.

After a rough time following its last earnings report, Netflix shares are up 12 percent in after-hours trading, making back much of this fall’s stock-price decline.

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