By supporting multinational production at an unprecedented scale, streaming giant Netflix has changed the face of entertainment on a global scale, says a study.
Netflix has funded the development of a growing library of series produced in more than 27 countries, across six continents, according to the article in the International Journal of Cultural Studies.
“Few recognise the extent to which Netflix has metamorphosed into a global television service,” said study author Amanda Lotz, Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
“Netflix has regional offices now in Singapore, Amsterdam, and Sao Paulo. Last year it opened its Australian headquarters in Sydney.”
Lotz is investigating the impact of global subscription video-on-demand platforms on national television markets.
Her research showed that among the series commissioned by Netflix, more than half of the titles are produced outside the US.
“Internet-distributed video services such as Netflix, have completely transformed the entertainment landscape and the competitive field in which free-to-air television operates, as well as turned the definition of ‘pay TV’ on its head,” Lotz said, adding that the Netflix model has been the real game changer.
“Previously, the core business of channels like the BBC, ABC or NBC that commission and pay the lion’s share of production fees for series has been nation bound, even if those shows would someday be available to audiences in many countries,” she said.
According to the author, Netflix’s propensity to commission series in multiple countries, and then make them available to the full 150-some million subscribers simultaneously, is unprecedented and something no television channel could do.
“And although many believe Netflix competes with the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Stan and Disney+, none of these services show evidence of supporting multinational production at a scale comparable to Netflix,” Lotz added.