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Opinion | Netflix Is Shrinking the World - The New York Times
Netflix, which has become the internet’s most invaluable and intoxicating portal to the parts of planet Earth that aren’t America......A win by “Roma” would be a fitting testament to Netflix’s ambitions. Virtually alone among tech and media companies, Netflix intends to ride a new kind of open-border digital cosmopolitanism to the bank.......Netflix, which has 139 million paying members around the world, has lately become something more than a licenser of other countries’ escapist television.

In 2016, the company expanded to 190 countries, and last year, for the first time, a majority of its subscribers and most of its revenue came from outside the United States. To serve this audience, Netflix now commissions and licenses hundreds of shows meant to echo life in every one of its markets and, in some cases, to blend languages and sensibilities across its markets......Netflix has discovered something startling: Despite a supposed surge in nationalism across the globe, many people like to watch movies and TV shows from other countries. ....Hollywood and Silicon Valley have long pursued expansion internationally. But Netflix's strategy is fundamentally different. Instead of trying to sell American ideas to a foreign audience, it’s aiming to sell international ideas to a global audience.....a crucial difference between Netflix and other tech giants: Netflix makes money from subscriptions, not advertising.....This simple difference flips all of its incentives. It means that Netflix has a reason to satisfy every new customer, not just the ones in the most prosperous markets. Each new title carries subtitles in 26 languages, and the company is creating high-quality, properly lip-synced audio dubbing in 10 languages. For years, Netflix has roiled the film and TV business in Hollywood with its billions. Now it’s taking its money — the company spent $12 billion on content in 2018 and is projected to spend $15 billion this year — to film and TV producers in France, Spain, Brazil, India, South Korea and the Middle East, among other places.

Because it is spending so much on shows from everywhere, Netflix has an incentive to get the biggest bang for its buck by pushing them widely across its user base. Its algorithms are tuned toward expanding your interests rather than narrowing them. As a result, many of Netflix’s shows are watched widely beyond their local markets......Netflix does seem to be pushing cultural boundaries and sparking new conversations all over the world....It’s legitimate to ask how long Netflix will be able to keep up this cross-border conversation — whether, as it keeps growing, it will have to make legal or moral compromises with local censors or other would-be cultural arbiters.

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Matt
Michigan2h ago
Farhad, I totally enjoyed your extrospection of Netflix as a global epoch-maker and change agent. This is globalization at its best. Netflix is outsourcing (crowdsourcing), outspending, and outwitting the Hollywood (s) of this world. Its recipe is simple yet profound: telling the stories of people, everywhere in this world, to themselves in their down-to-earth languages and customs. And technology has everything to do with it. Netflix would not have been where it is today if it was not for streaming technology. The assertion is true: technology is bring the world closer together.

By Farhad Manjoo
Opinion Columnist

Feb. 22, 2019
content_creators  cosmopolitan  cross-cultural  entertainment  Farhad_Manjoo  globalization  Hollywood  international_expansion  internationalization  international_diversity  Netflix  original_programming  streaming  user_bases 
february 2019 by jerryking
Open books, open borders
OCTOBER 20, 2017 | FT| Janan Ganesh.

The globalised Booker also confirms this medium-sized country’s knack for cultural decorations — degrees from its universities, air time on the BBC — that are coveted worldwide. The unfakeable emotion from Saunders and Beatty upon receipt of the prize was a larger compliment to Britain and its soft power than a Booker for one of its own would have been.....There is a strategic imperative to open up that goes beyond the aesthetic one. As the gap narrows between the superpower and the rest, it becomes more important for America to understand the outside world. Better foreign news coverage can help, but mere politics is downstream of culture. The real prize is to comprehend another country’s thought patterns, speech rhythms, historic ghosts and unconscious biases — and these seep out from the stories it tells and the way it tells them....Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker cites the spread of literacy as a reason for the long-term decline of human violence. To read another person’s story is to end up with a larger “circle of sympathy”. But even if America’s concern is the narrowest raison d’état, rather than world peace, it would profit from reading beyond its borders.

The minimum return is that more American readers would have more fun. The headiest writing tends to come from places that are ascendant enough to matter but raw enough to retain some measure of dramatic chaos: 19th-century Britain and Russia, mid-20th-century America, and now, perhaps, early 21st-century Asia. It is not just in economics that protectionism stifles.
books  cosmopolitan  cross-cultural  cultural_products  empathy  fiction  George_Saunders  Janan_Ganesh  literature  Man_Booker  middle-powers  national_identity  novels  open_borders  open_mind  parochialism  prizes  protectionism  reading  soft_power  storytelling  United_Kingdom  writers 
november 2017 by jerryking
High-context communications in a low-context virtual world
(It should be no surprise that popular social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube favour low-context communications, given they orginated in the U.S., a highly individualistic society.
dialogue  highcontext  cross-cultural  context 
august 2017 by Walpole

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