Netflix is the definitive media company of the 21st century. It was among the first to parlay new Internet technologies into a successful business model, and in the process it changed how consumers access film and television. It is now one of the leading providers of digitally delivered media content and is continually expanding access across a host of platforms and mobile devices. Despite its transformative role, however, Netflix has drawn very little critical attention-far less than competitors such as YouTube, Apple, Amazon, Comcast, and HBO.
This collection addresses this gap, as the essays are designed to critically explore the breadth and diversity of Netflix's effect from a variety of different scholarly perspectives, a necessary approach considering the hybrid nature of Netflix, its inextricable links to new models of media production, distribution, viewer engagement and consumer behavior, its relationship to existing media conglomerates and consumer electronics, its capabilities as a web-based service provider and data network, and its reliance on a broader technological infrastructure.
Kevin McDonald teaches in the Communication Studies Department at California State University, Northridge, USA. His research focuses on film theory, contemporary Hollywood, and media industries. He is author of Film Theory: The Basics. Daniel Smith-Rowsey is a visiting lecturer at Sacramento City College, USA, and award-winning filmmaker. His book Star Actors in the Hollywood Renaissance was nominated for a 2014 First Book Award by the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. He has been published in various collections and in Bright Lights Film Journal, Jura Gentium, Newsweek, and Der Spiegel.
Introduction - Kevin McDonald and Daniel Smith-Rowsey Part 1 Technology, Innovation, and Control 1 Netflix and the Coalition for an Open Internet - Lyell Davies 2 Framing the Future of Media Regulation through Netflix - Alison N. Novak 3 Netflix and the Myth of Choice/Participation/Autonomy - Sarah Arnold 4 Imaginative Indices and Deceptive Domains: How Netflix's Categories and Genres Redefine the Long Tail - Daniel Smith-Rowsey 5 Catered to Your Future Self: Netflix's "Predictive Personalization" and the Mathematization of Taste - Neta Alexander Part 2 Changing Entertainment 6 "Forward Is the Battle Cry": Binge-Viewing Netflix's House of Cards - Casey J. McCormick 7 The Cognitive Psychological Effects of Binge-Watching - Zachary Snider 8 Binge-Watching "Noir" at Home: Reimagining Cinematic Reception and Distribution via Netflix - Sheri Chinen Biesen 9 Netflix and the Documentary Boom - Sudeep Sharma 10 Seeing Blackness in Prison: Understanding Prison Diversity on Netflix's Orange Is the New Black - Brittany Farr Part 3 The Business of Media Convergence 11 Questioning Netflix's Revolutionary Impact: Changes in the Business and Consumption of Television - Cameron Lindsey 12 Individual Disruptors and Economic Gamechangers: Netflix, New Media, and Neoliberalism - Gerald Sim 13 From Online Video Store to Global Internet TV Network: Netflix and the Future of Home Entertainment - Kevin McDonald 14 Streaming Transatlantic: Importation and Integration in the Promotion of Video on Demand in the UK - Sam Ward 15 Invading Europe: Netflix's Expansion to the European Market and the Example of Germany - Christian Stiegler Index