Zebra among horses
Original Published Date: 
Monday, September 14, 2020

Full article issued by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Media studies expert, Professor Amanda Lotz, from QUT’s Digital Media Research Centre, is a chief investigator on an ARC Discovery Project that is investigating the impact of global subscription video-on-demand platforms, such as Netflix, on national television markets. The rise of subscription video streaming has created significant challenges for Australian and international broadcast, media and cultural policy frameworks, which are struggling to keep up with audience viewing practices.

Professor Lotz says that there is a lot of misunderstanding about Netflix, which is the world’s biggest internet-distributed video service.

“Netflix must be examined as a zebra among horses,” said Professor Lotz. “Few recognise the extent to which Netflix has metamorphosed into a global television service. Unlike services that distribute only US-produced content, Netflix has funded the development of a growing library of series produced in more than 27 countries, across six continents, including Australia."

The research team compiled a database of series commissioned by Netflix (in whole or part) and their country of origin, and found more than half of the titles are produced outside the US. An initial analysis of Netflix original films suggests a similar pattern. However, Professor Lotz said Netflix could never develop the depth of content necessary to replace national providers, especially public service broadcasters central to cultural storytelling.

Photo credit: 

Image: the researchers say Netflix is the ‘zebra among the horses’. Source: Picrepo.