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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 4. Lovemarked Distribution and Consumers’ Behavior: Netflix Communities Versus Piracy Users’ Conduct (Gabriele Prosperi)


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Netflix Communities Versus Piracy Users’ Conduct

Gabriele Prosperi

The arrival of Netflix in the Italian market in 2015 destabilized the entire audiovisual distribution sector (Marrazzo, 2016), anchored to modalities that were out of step with consumers’ desires, both in terms of quantity and quality of distribution. Rather than encouraging the primary local distribution services to consider streaming content (Barra & Scaglioni, 2013), they instead labeled the phenomenon of online piracy a competitor and proposed a fundamental and efficient system of opposition to illegal and informal distribution (Lobato, 2012a). This approach was not grounded on the criminalization of users’ behavior (Crisp, 2014; Re, 2014), but on services that could be more appealing compared to those supplied by the informal platforms (Braga & Caruso, 2013).

File-sharing platforms are usually associated with services based on the principle of indexing, a process of re-intermediation used in informal distribution as peer-to-peer platforms or linking sites connected to cyberlocker services that provide audiovisual content protected under copyright laws.

Indexing sites appear not only as a way to make the online piracy system work for the user, and not only to gain a profit, but also to respond to users’ requests to respect their emotional intent in looking for a specific cultural content (Andersson Schwartz & Larsson, 2014). Even if indexing sites do not ← 65 | 66 → legalize file-sharing in the user’s perception—who, on the contrary,...

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