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Netflix at the Nexus

Content, Practice, and Production in the Age of Streaming Television

Edited By Theo Plothe and Amber M. Buck

Netflix’s meteoric rise as an online content provider has been well documented and much debated in the popular press and in academic circles as an industry disrupter, while also blamed for ending TV’s "Golden Age." For academic researchers, Netflix exists at the nexus of multiple fields: internet research, information studies, media studies, and television and has an impact on the creation of culture and how individuals relate to the media they consume. Netflix at the Nexus examines Netflix’s broad impact on technology and television from multiple perspectives, including the interface, the content, and user experiences. Chapters by leading international scholars in television and internet studies provide a transnational perspective on Netflix’s changing role in the media landscape. As a whole, this collection provides a comprehensive consideration of the impact of streaming television.

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Chapter 3. The Emergence of Netflix and the New Digital Economic Geography of Hollywood (Luis F. Alvarez León)


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Luis F. Alvarez León


The internet’s differential impact across economic sectors and industries has catalyzed new divisions of labor and rewritten (though not eliminated) the role of distance in the production and distribution of goods and services. While a growing array of tasks is increasingly susceptible to being routinized, automated, and outsourced (Autor, Levy, & Murnane, 2003; Frey & Osborne, 2017), others continue to require proximity and are in fact more likely to benefit from spatial agglomeration (Leamer & Storper, 2001; Scott, 2007, 2012).

Cultural and creative industries are key arenas in this socio-spatial rearticulation, since they are at the nexus of the centrifugal and centripetal forces catalyzed by digital communication networks. On the one hand, the production of goods such as books, magazines, film, television, music, fashion, visual and performing arts usually requires high levels of expertise, dense networks of relational exchanges, and flows of complex ideas and tacit knowledge that are highly concentrated in a handful of specialized locations across the world (Currid & Williams, 2010; Gibson & Kong, 2005; Leslie & Rantisi, 2011; Scott, 2000). New York, London, and Barcelona for publishing; Hollywood in Los Angeles and Bollywood in Mumbai for film; Paris and Milan for fashion, ← 47 | 48 → are but a few prominent examples of the spatial concentration of cultural and creative industries, and their close identification with...

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