Netflix, library analysis, and globalization: rethinking mass media flows

The advent of subscriber-funded, direct-to-consumer, streaming video services has important implications for video distribution around the globe. Conversations about transnational media flows and power—a core concern of critical communication studies—have only just begun to explore these changes. This article investigates how global streamers challenge existing communication and media theory about transnational video and its cultural power and considers the theory rebuilding necessitated by streamers’ discrepant features. It takes particular focus on Netflix and uses the library data available from Ampere Analysis to empirically explore and compare 17 national libraries. Analyses suggest considerable variation in the contents of Netflix libraries cross-nationally, in contrast with other U.S.-based services, as well as Netflix libraries offering content produced in a greater range of countries. These and other results illustrate, albeit indirectly, the operations and strategies of global streamers, which then inform theory building regarding their cultural role.

Lotz, A., Eklund, O. y Soroka, S. (2022). Journal of Communication. PDF descargable aquí.