The Golden Age of Netflix

Digital storytelling arose in the course of the digital revolution as a new way of storytelling (Ziska 2015, p. 2). Watching your favourite show is no longer restricted to turning on the television set on the exact time your program is starting. And if you´re watching a doco-series, you no longer have to wait until the same time next week to catch up on that next episode you´re dying to see.

(Statista 2016) Netflix initially introduced a subscription-based online service in 1999. Since the development and expansion of their streaming service, Netflix has accumulated tens of millions of streaming subscribers worldwide. In the last quarter of 2016, the online streaming service had almost reached 2,5 billion subscribers from all over the world (The Verge 2016).

Netflix has revolutionised with their production of doco-series and documentaries. I grew up in a time when you couldn´t simply log on to Netflix and watch whatever you liked. When I was younger I would watch whatever documentary that was on TV that night. When I got older, in my teens, I got my documentary kicks from www.documentaryheaven.com The list was endless and you could pick and choose.

netflixNetflix VHS Tape (CC BY 2.0)

It´s a completely different experience to watch documentaries on Netflix rather than on television. You can binge on Netflix. On television, you normally have to wait a week for the next episode to come out. The widespread of documentaries produced by Netflix is growing. Since 2012 the online streaming service has produced 14 doco-series and 31 documentaries.

“TV viewers are no longer zoning out as a way to forget about their day, they are tuning in, on their own schedule, to a different world. Getting immersed in multiple episodes or even multiple seasons of a show over a few weeks is a new kind of escapism that is especially welcomed today,”

In Making a Murderer (2015), A doc0-series which follow the trial of Steven Avery who is convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach, the public only got to see the lopsided documentary that left out key facts to make their case stronger. Not long after the series premiered on Netflix, petitions calling for the government to pardon Steven Avery made the rounds online and gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures. In the article –‘What Steven Avery and O.J. Simpson Both Prove About Justice’ Adam Tod Brown (2016) writes that “Good documentaries, especially investigative documentaries, are meant to challenge the accepted, official position on whatever story they´re telling. That is why these documentaries exist”.

Netflix has often touched what other networks wouldn’t. Covering lots of different subjects whether they be controversial or ground-breaking (Netflix 2016). I guess it´s safe to say that the 2,5 billion´s favourite streaming service is here to stay.

 

References:

Brown, A. (2016). What Steven Avery and O.J. Simpson Both Prove About Justice. Available: http://www.cracked.com/blog/what-steven-avery-o.j.-simpson-both-prove-about-justice/. Last accessed 22th March 2017.

Popper, B & Erlick, N. (2017). Netflix added a record 7 million new subscribers last quarter. Available: http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/18/14312826/netflix-earnings-q4-2016-7-million-new-subscribers. Last accessed 22th March 2017.

Ziska, A. (2015). Netflix: an example of digital storytelling on an institutional level? Examining Netflix’ provision and production of content regarding the characteristics of digital storytelling. Available: https://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/311620. Last accessed 22th March 2017.

-. (2016). List of original programs distributed by Netflix. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_original_programs_distributed_by_Netflix#Docu-series. Last accessed 21th March 2017.

-. (2013). Netflix Declares Binge Watching is the New Normal. Available: https://media.netflix.com/en/press-releases/netflix-declares-binge-watching-is-the-new-normal-migration-1. Last accessed 21th March 2017.

-. (2016). Complete List of Netflix Originals. Available: https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/originals/. Last accessed 21th March 2017.

-. (2016). Number of Netflix streaming subscribers worldwide from 3rd quarter 2011 to 4th quarter 2016 (in millions). Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/250934/quarterly-number-of-netflix-streaming-subscribers-worldwide/. Last accessed 21th March 2017.

 

 

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