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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 10. Transforming Media Production in an Era of “Binge-Watching”: Netflix’s Cinematic Long-Form Serial Programming and Reception (Sheri Chinen Biesen)

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TRANSFORMING MEDIA PRODUCTION IN AN ERA OF “BINGE-WATCHING”

Netflix’s Cinematic Long-Form Serial Programming and Reception

Sheri Chinen Biesen

Over the last decade, Netflix has been heralded and critiqued for its capacity to revolutionize the way we watch cinema and television and for fostering a new, changing media production, distribution, and reception climate that has dramatically transformed in an era of “video on demand” (VOD) media streaming and “binge watching” home viewership. Netflix executives have insisted, and the company has shown, it has changed the nature of what a television program is and the very nature of media viewing itself. Netflix has transformed media reception and distribution practices in the U.S. and abroad, and provided an ideal global media platform for encouraging “binge watching” and considering how traditional and new media “converge” at home. Netflix has also produced an array of original program content which has prompted other major media companies to adapt and respond with competing media production, distribution and reception strategies. This chapter investigates how Netflix transforms media programs and programming content to maximize serial long-form “binge watching” viewing of media and reimagine traditional cinematic and televisual reception. In particular, this chapter will focus on Netflix programs and programming content in the context of its platform and viewing reception practices to examine how the nature of Netflix media programs, overall programming (content), media platform, and its “binge watching” reception climate (viewer practices) affect the intrinsic way in...

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