As mentioned in the previous installment, from the late 1990s to the present, with the advent and subsequent consolidation of the Internet and, subsequently, Netflix, global audiovisual markets have seen accelerated changes in their models.
Mg. Luis Fernando Gutiérrez Cano
Mg. Luis Jorge Orcasitas Pacheco
With this growing and unreachable media convergence, which includes, as already said, the Internet and the many alternatives to receive communication and information, from Smart phones, Smart TV, devices for vehicles, multipurpose iPod players, among others, both the industry audiovisual as content providers face levels of complexity, dynamics of changes and impositions to innovate never experienced before.
This is how in our days, Netflix is exposed as the archetypal innovation platform, provoking an evident transfiguration of those traditional windows that make up the ecosystems of the film and television industries (Heredia, 2017). In the same line, Izquierdo-Castillo (2012), agrees with the position of Heredia and points out that:
Media convergence is transforming the audiovisual business model. The consumption of film and television content on the Internet imposes the breaking of the traditional value chain. The bases of the online business models for the distribution and consumption of these contents are analyzed. The funding sources and their reconfiguration are taken with respect to the traditional model: flat rate, pay per view and advertising (p.385).
According to the above, the "model" implemented by Netflix, (commented succinctly in the preceding article) and which, similarly, have also sought to establish other platforms such as Hulu, Vudu, You Tube and even, Amazon, has generated profuse evolutions, configurations and re-configurations, in the increasingly intricate and disputed audiovisual scene. Therefore, the media environment has seen how Netflix, gradually, is at the forefront of audiovisual markets, based on a series of essential strategies that it has carried out in its innovative journey and, according to Heredia (2017), concentrate on:
The implementation of a business model of fully convergent content, that is, the addition made by the platform to the three main media of information and communication: Internet, film and television.
A novel method to distribute and show cinematographic and television products through the global network.
The production and distribution of own contents such as series, films, animations, etc.
Provide users of the platform with innovative consumer experiences, focused on the management of algorithms around decisions, recommendations and experiences of their users.
For the different actors involved in the cinematographic and television environments, it is undeniable that the transformations that Netflix has conceived have generated diverse concerns and reflections in different areas, which go beyond the platform's exclusive ecosystems. Therefore, in this second installment, we examine some academic introspections from some considerations of Ojer and Capapé (2012), Tyron (2013), Wolff (2015, Heredia (2017) and Levy (2018).
One of the most obvious transformations recorded by the audiovisual media ecosystem is what Tyron (2014) has entitled Personalized Media, a notion that points to an individualized and fragmented consumption, which is configured from the choices made by users of the media, from complex forms, that is, as consumers of media and information that have the capacity to develop certain media environments, absolutely personalized, based on our particular inclinations, and predilections, personal and political (Tyron, 2014).
In the case of Netflix, it is clear that, thanks to the Internet and its streaming transmissions, users of the platform can choose to watch a movie or a series from a computer, tablets, a video game console or a Smart TV with access Internet, everything from the comfort of home.
Distribution of series and films
The "model" Netflix of distribution of series and films, replicated and similarly offered by other platforms such as Mubi, Crackle or Hulu, allows, according to Tyron (2014), that such distribution converge in novel distribution models and more dynamic, where, in the case of films, they present a fast transit from theaters to VOD and, perhaps more likely, to video files available for transmission, either through subscription, such as Netflix, or through an option of PPV (Pay Per View), as offered by Mubi, Vudu or Amazon; In this way, according to Charles Acland, quoted by Tyron (2014), "the speed of moving images allows them to move from screen to screen, from format to format and, therefore, from a cultural circuit of relative exclusivity. to other more accessible circuits "(p.9).
It is important to note that since 2007 Netflix had launched into the streaming and Video On Demand market; In this regard, Ojer and Capapé (2012), indicate that the company detected that streaming video streaming, taking advantage of Internet services and technology, were more appropriate and, at the same time, effective options for its users. The foregoing projects new forms of circulation, which have inevitably led to some inconsistencies, to the extent that users examine various affordable economic options, to access films and programs or television series.
One of the consequences of what has been previously emphasized is binge-watching, as a new habit of consumption of users of audiovisual productions. In relation to this phenomenon, Mareike Jenner, researcher at Anglia Ruskin University in England, in his article Binge-watching: Video-on-demand, quality TV and mainstreaming fandom, explores the concept of binge (compulsivity) as a "ceremony" of visualization , associated with the fanatics' practices, the practice of the industry and linked to the serialized content of "cult" and "quality".
Jenner analyzes binge-watching as an intersection of industry, audience and text discourses. According to Jenner (2017), binge-watching or compulsive observation goes beyond actual or assumed visualization behavior, but has implications for the way that VOD providers such as Netflix or Amazon position themselves as an alternative to television. programmed, synchronized and "traditional".
Michael Wolff, in his text Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age, sign that, platforms like Netflix, are not taking the digital world to television, but are "taking" the digital programming , the values and behavior of television, such as, for example, passive observation for screens that used to be interactive and related to computer media; In that sense, it is appropriate to ask the question, are the media ruptures that are attributed to platforms that work in streaming overvalued?
We must assume that the distribution of video over the Internet is only one of the strategies used for the distribution of content, which, as stressed by Jenner (2017), according to the new visualization models introduced by the VOD and streaming companies , also take advantage of their services, and the apparent "autonomy" of their users, to observe and imbricate them in schemes that push them to bing-wtaching, in an attempt to predict and manipulate the behavior of the viewer in relation to other contents, with the slogan of offering "forms" of reception (or participation) in individualized appearance (Machado, 2011).
While Netflix paved the way for new DVD formats in the late 1990 and was a pioneer in the transmission of instant digital entertainment, it is in constant competition with organizations such as Home Box Office (HBO) and other subscription channels premium, which also compete to keep the viewers subscribed every month; therefore, it is unquestionable that, in order to maintain itself as a benchmark for innovation, Nerflix must continue to produce original high quality content, otherwise it may be destined to be crushed by an avalanche of new armed competitors with more extensive budgets and more media networks. spacious.
Today, Netflix is a global benchmark as a successful business model in the post-television era: video club online became one of the largest providers of streaming services, always with exponential records of growth in the number of subscribers and with a stable evolution until mid-2011; however, it has also had setbacks, such as when it increased the price of the mixed service (streaming and DVD) to 60% or when it reported the derivation of the DVD rental service to a different web page and under another name: Qwikster, which It generated discomfort among consumers and reports losses of an 20% of its stock market value in 2011, as well as 800 000 subscribers.
This shows that Netflix is not infallible and, similarly, its setbacks, also opened a wider competitive framework to companies like Amazon or Hulu. In that sense, the question that can be posed is whether, in the case of platforms such as Netflix, can the original contents mark the break in the business model of streaming audiovisual distribution? In this regard, Levy (2018) states that:
"The current business model of Netflix is not necessarily successful, the dumping that applies to the market, its multimillion-dollar losses sustained over time, its dominant position and the cultural hegemony it promotes are not admirable or worthy of being reproduced, and I can affirm almost with complete certainty, that without the virtually unlimited financial muscle that the corporation supports, Netflix would have failed in its first year. A model whose success is based on the patience of investors to sustain constant and sustained losses, until the market is hegemonized, is not at all admirable and consequently, besides being a dangerous practice, it is highly damaging to an industry. "
In that order of ideas, the pattern in the business model will be marked when investors can no longer sustain an unviable business model, have to increase costs, decrease the production of new products and, when that happens, surely no longer There will be a competitor that balances the market and users will feel and take this blow, unleashing a historic and unprecedented setback in this industry.
In short, the global audiovisual scene faces a vertiginous evolution as a business, with more original and shocking original contents that, in turn, provide users with new consumer experiences.