The Age of Netflix

Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery and Instant Access

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About the Book

In 2016, Netflix—with an already enormous footprint in the United States—expanded its online streaming video service to 130 new countries, adding more than 12 million subscribers in nine months and bringing its total to 87 million. The effectiveness of Netflix’s content management lies in its ability to appeal to a vastly disparate global viewership without a unified cache of content. Instead, the company invests in buying or developing myriad programming and uses sophisticated algorithms to “narrowcast” to micro-targeted audience groups. In this collection of new essays, contributors explore how Netflix has become a cultural institution and transformed the way we consume popular media.

About the Author(s)

Cory Barker is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University. His writing has appeared in Vox, Complex, The A.V. Club, and other publications. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Myc Wiatrowski is an analyst of business and culture and associate instructor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Cory Barker and Myc Wiatrowski

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9747-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3023-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction (Cory Barker and Myc Wiatrowski) 1

Part One: Netflix as Disruptor and as Cultural Institution
From Primetime to Anytime: Streaming Video, Temporality and the Future of Communal Television (Justin Grandinetti) 11
Terms of Excess: ­Binge-Viewing as ­Epic-Viewing in the Netflix Era (Djoymi Baker) 31
Streaming Culture, the Centrifugal Development of the Internet and Our Precarious Digital Future (Joseph Donica) 55

Part Two: Netflix as Producer and as Distributor
Doing Time: Queer Temporalities and Orange Is the New Black (Maria San Filippo) 75
Netflix and Innovation in Arrested Development’s Narrative Construction (Maíra Bianchini and Maria Carmem Jacob de Souza) 98
Circulating The Square: Digital Distribution as (Potential) Activism (James N. Gilmore) 120

Part Three: Netflix as Narrowcaster and as Global Player
Binge-Watching in Practice: The Rituals, Motives and Feelings of Streaming Video Viewers (Emil Steiner) 141
Narrowcasting, Millennials and the Personalization of Genre in Digital Media (Alison N. Novak) 162
From Interactive Digital Television to Internet “Instant” Television: Netflix, Shifts in Power and Emerging Audience Practices from an Evolutionary Perspective (Vivi Theodoropoulou) 182
Digital Delivery in Mexico: A Global Newcomer Stirs the Local Giants (Elia Margarita ­Cornelio-Marí) 201

Selected Bibliography 229
About the Contributors 241
Index 243