From Parochialism to Cosmopolitanism in the American Audiovisual Supply? Netflix’s New Releases of Television Fiction in the United States and their Geographical Diversity
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The supply of films and TV series in the United States has been historically dominated by national programming produced by its powerful media conglomerates, significantly limiting the diversity and plurality of choices for their American viewers. Netflix and other video-on-demand
platforms are changing this situation, significantly increasing the availability in the United States of fiction produced in different regions of the world, potentially exposing their subscribers to new narrative styles, scenarios, ethnicities, nationalities, languages, and cultural features. This study, based on the methodology of content analysis, analyzes the geographical origin and production type of new Netflix scripted television releases in the United States from January 2017 to June 2018 and discusses their potential relevance in broadening the degree of geographical diversity among American subscribers to the platform. The paper concludes that while Netflix USA substantially increased the supply of foreign television series in its catalog during that period, a sizeable part of the imports came from countries with high degrees of “cultural proximity” with the United States. The article concludes by discussing the possible “Americanization” of foreign audiovisual productions, formats, and genres bought or produced by Netflix.
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