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CNN Business

Netflix is ​​having a strange 2022.

The streaming giant’s stock has fallen around 70% this year, investors are worried about its business and the former darling of the entertainment industry now looks to have a bleak future. Yet Netflix is ​​still a media company that, thanks to its 221.6 million subscribers worldwide, has the ability to capture the cultural zeitgeist.

Ask Kate Bush.

The English singer’s 1985 hit single, ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)’, has taken over the music charts – 37 years after its release. It is currently No. 1 on Spotify’s Top Songs in the US, No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and has broken UK records after hitting No. 1 last weekend.

All because the song is featured in the latest season of “Stranger Things” – the streaming platform’s most popular franchise. The song’s global streams jumped over 8,700% on Spotify (SPOT) after the show’s season 4 premiered on May 27.

The fact that “Running Up That Hill” became a sudden hit nearly four decades after its release is more than just an old song that catches fire on the charts. It’s a powerful example of Netflix’s massive cultural power, even as the company tries to recover.

Other songs have seen increased sales and airplay thanks to their appearance in high-profile movies and TV shows (it’s happened to Queen a few times). But few tracks have been part of a major plot like “Running Up That Hill” in “Stranger Things 4.”

The final season of the sci-fi horror series, set in 1986, not only makes the song a favorite of character Max Mayfield, played by Sadie Sink, but the tune plays during a pivotal scene and helps save her from a multidimensional evil. Obligate.

A moment like this is a music supervisor’s dream, as the stage becomes inseparable from the song, establishing a connection between content and consumer that is “very rare,” said Serona Elton, program director of the industry at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. .

“Having the music only play in the background isn’t going to have the same kind of impact as the music becoming a fundamental part of the scene,” Elton told CNN Business.

But none of this could have happened without Netflix’s ability to bring the series to its millions of subscribers around the world. Other streaming platforms also have millions of users, but Netflix is ​​still on top of the hill. It also helps that “Strangers Things” is hugely popular.

“Stranger Things 4 – Volume 1” debuted in May to hit numbers and has since amassed a total of 883 million hours watched for the platform. This makes it Netflix’s most popular English language TV show. It has been No. 1 on Netflix’s Top 10 English list for the four weeks since its inception.

The new season has also dominated social media since its debut, with over 7.7 billion organic impressions across Facebook (FB), Instagram, YouTube, Twitter (TWTR) and TikTok, according to the streamer. It helped turn “Running Up That Hill” into a viral meme.

Bush recently thanked the Duffer Brothers, the creators of the series, for the resurgence in popularity of “Running Up That Hill.”

“I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and support the song is receiving,” she wrote on her website. “Everything happens very quickly, as if he’s being driven by some kind of elemental force.”

Netflix has put this 1985 single back at the top of the charts

The world of Netflix has been turned upside down this year after the company announced in April that it had lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade, news that shocked Wall Street and wiped out billions in the market capitalization of Netflix. Netflix. Shares of the company, which were trading at $337 per share before this news, are now at $178.

Industry experts have wondered what steps Netflix could take to recover, spitting out ideas that include showing ads, limiting password sharing and improving movie theaters.

The widespread influence of “Stranger Things” shows that Netflix (NFLX) may be down, but it hasn’t come out.

Netflix’s cast is still outstanding in the streaming world, even as its rivals catch up, giving the service a pop culture flair with content like “Bird Box,” “Squid Game,” and “Stranger Things.” . And as Netflix attempts to regain its footing after several disastrous quarters, it’s important to remember what it’s capable of.

Elton said this type of exposure can help multiple constituencies.

Bush will likely see “an increase in revenue and perhaps a new demographic of fans who may seek out more music of their own,” she said. As for Netflix, the song’s newfound popularity has made it “releasable” and “could perhaps bring more people to the show itself.”

On Tuesday, the company released a new trailer for the final two episodes of this season, which will arrive on July 1. fight – almost like Netflix itself right now.

The song the trailer was set to? “Run up that hill.”


Cnn

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