New Guardians of Information Go from Social Media to Streaming 04/23/2021 – Nelson de Sá

The growing attention to information control in the United States, the greatest example of which was the overthrow of Donald Trump by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, led the Washington Post to compile a list of “gatekeepers,” the new custodians of information.

In addition to the aforementioned social media platforms, he listed, in order:

Google and Apple app stores, which cut TikTok in India. Cloud providers like AWS, Amazon, which shut down the social network Parler and, previously, WikiLeaks. Payment services like PayPal, which also shut down WikiLeaks and others. Domain registrars like GoDaddy, who cut the social network Gab. And finally the Internet providers themselves, like Comcast.

The WaPo list was lacking in streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney +.

They are the ones who increasingly decide what viewers around the world will be able to watch. And they don’t hide the alignment: Netflix has kept its board of directors for three years, former Secretary of National Security Susan Rice, now back in Washington.

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Entering the second year of the pandemic, the Big Three platforms and the ascendants, like HBO Max, face a saturated US market and look once and for all to the rest of the planet, in a paradigm shift, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to figures from consulting firm Ampere Analysis, the first quarter ended with 340 million streaming service subscriptions in the United States, more than the nation’s population of 328 million.

In Netflix’s results for the quarter, presented on Tuesday (20), the growth in subscriber numbers has already been much lower than in recent years. More importantly, 89% of this growth came from users outside the Canada-US market.

On the other side of the Atlantic, still taking into account Ampère’s figures, of the 141 million streaming subscribers in Western Europe, 86% come from the three major platforms.

To this day, as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has shown, Germany and other Europeans are trying to resist the American invasion by joining national networks. The most successful project to date has been Viaplay, close to a draw with Netflix in the Nordic countries.

In the Americas, Mexican Televisa has just joined the American company Univision to prepare a streaming service in Spanish for the entire Western Hemisphere and possibly Spain.

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On the other hand, a year of pandemic did not only lead to the saturation of subscriptions in the United States: the production of content by Hollywood has dried up, according to Bloomberg.

Partly for this reason, the most viewed Netflix series during the quarter was French “Lupine”. Ted Sarandos, co-chair of the platform, explains “Lupine” saying that “the more local authenticity there is, the greater the likelihood of [o filme ou série] to be seen around the world ”.

As a result, of the content currently in production by Sarandos, half is produced outside the United States – still under the control of Netflix.

One of the biggest bets on the platform is South Korea, the home country of last year’s Oscar winner “Parasite,” the first in a non-English language. Netflix has just announced that it will invest half a billion dollars this year in new South Korean productions, opening a trench in the Asia-Pacific market, which has not yet been dominated.

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