As Netflix edges toward 100 million subscribers, the company’s chief executive officer has revealed its hordes of streaming devotees have one thing – or man – in common: Adam Sandler.
During a live stream revealing the streaming service’s quarterly earnings on Monday (US time), CEO Reed Hastings said Netflix subscribers collectively consume one billion hours of content a day.
A significant portion of that time is spent watching films starring Sandler, the American comedian best known for his gross-out humour and hit 1990s films like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore.
According to Netflix, its members have spent more than half a billion hours watching Sandler films – and that’s just since the launch of his Netflix original The Ridiculous Six in December 2015.
“We continue to be excited by our Sandler relationship and our members continue to be thrilled with his films,” the company said in a statement.
So much so that Netflix has signed a deal with the 50-year-old funnyman to produce four more original films, on top of The Ridiculous Six, 2016’s The Do-Over and new flick Sandy Wexler.
This revelation is surprising given the critical and social reaction to The Ridiculous Six, which was mired in controversy after several Native American actors walked off set due to its offensive content.
Netflix funnelled $US60 million into the spoof Western, which has a dismal zero per cent rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes.
However, Netflix members were clearly undeterred, with the movie quickly becoming the most-watched movie in Netflix history days after its release.
Watch the trailer for Sandler’s new movie Sandy Wexler
The news of Sandler’s Netflix popularity received mixed reactions, with some saying they were unsurprised by his success, while others heralded the end of decency and taste.
“Humanity is lost,” one Twitter user said.
“I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I contributed to that,” another said.
But although the company is expecting to hit 100 million subscribers this week, executives are still not satisfied.
Hastings said while Netflix members streamed around one billion hours of content a week, they still had to “catch up” to YouTube, whose users stream one billion hours of video a day.
“We definitely have YouTube envy,” he said.
Regardless, Hastings said Netflix didn’t really have any major competitors, except for one tiny inconvenient human requirement: sleep.
“You know, think about it, when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night … We’re competing with sleep, on the margin.”
Sleep is my greatest enemy.
— Netflix US (@netflix) April 17, 2017