Netflix at the Nexus: Content, Practice, and Production in the Age of Streaming Television
Netflix’s meteoric rise as an online content provider has been well documented and much debated in the popular press and in academic circles. It has been praised as the future of television (Auletta, 2014) and as “the most feared force in Hollywood” (Villarreal & James, 2016), while also decried as the end of “TV’s Golden Age” and blamed for ushering in an era where “TV shows may be briefer, lower-budget and filled with the kind of product-placement ads that audiences hate and advertisers pay for” (Thielman, 2016). Interestingly though, amongst the academic inquiry thus far, much of this research has dealt primarily with the algorithmic culture and nature of Netflix (Hallinan & Striphas, 2016; Gomez-Uribe & Hunt, 2016; Amatriain, 2013), binge watching (Jenner, 2015, 2016; Pittman, & Sheehan, 2015), engagement, (Groshek, & Krongard, 2016; Matrix, 2014); and the future of television, (Auletta, 2014).
The editors seek contributions to this collection that will broaden this discussion greatly, focusing on Netflix in three specific ways:
• platform - How does the nature of Netflix streaming change our relationship to media? How does Netflix’s interface design impact media consumption? How does Netflix change our media consumption in mobile contexts? What are the cultural implications of Netflix’s business model?
• content – What kind of content does Netflix privilege? How does the streaming model change serialized programming? What are these effects on narrative? Does Netflix’s streaming model prelude a more diverse offering for consumers interested in “quality TV?” Do representations in Netflix offerings differ from traditional broadcast programming? Is there a “Netflix genre,” shows produced by Netflix can be recognized as such?
• viewer practices – What kind of viewing practices does Netflix encourage? What is the nature of viewer discourse surrounding binging and other streaming viewing practices? How do fans discuss and build community around Netflix programs? How do fans incorporate social media into their viewing habits? Do users utilize social media as a second screen when discussing their favorite programs?
Interested authors should submit an initial proposal of 500 words (exc. references) by July 15, 2017. This should be sent as a Word or PDF document to editors Theo Plothe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Amber M. Buck (email@example.com) for consideration. Selected authors will be invited to submit full chapters of 7,000 words by December 1, 2017.