In this study, Dr. Wayne and Dr. Uribe Sandoval examine contemporary discourses of success within the streaming television industry by focusing on two Netflix original series: Fauda and La Casa de Papel.
This article examines television industry discourses of streaming success as related to Netflix and two of the platform’s popular global originals: the Israeli military action series Fauda (2015) and the Spanish heist series La Casa De Papel (2017). Applying a media industry studies approach to a variety of publicly available materials, this study finds that executives and creative talent employ different discourses of streaming success. Netflix executives describe success in terms of series that ‘travel’ as a result of high production values and ‘local authenticity’. For creative talent, global popularity stems from local authenticity, morally ambiguous characters, universality and topical narrative content.
In spite of these differences, however, both executives and creatives largely describe the Netflix audience as global and undifferentiated. Yet, by analyzing the instances in which audiences are discussed in more narrow terms, this article argues that the discourses of streaming success only operate at a general level and, in fact, become incoherent when addressing the popularity of particular Netflix original series among socially situated viewers.
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