Netflix : an example of digital storytelling on an institutional level? Examining Netflix’ provision and production of content regarding the characteristics of digital storytelling
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Digital storytelling arose in the course of the digital revolution as a new way of storytelling and is nowadays practiced in various contexts by individuals and institutions all over the world. Even though the academic field researches different aspects of this storytelling technique, its use on an institutional level has not much been studied yet. This is why, this master thesis will examine the video streaming company Netflix regarding its provision and production of content. In the course of this analysis, the original Netflix series House of Cards will serve as an illustrating example. The research will be centered around the research question: How is digital storytelling used on an institutional level in the case of Netflix and how can its characteristics be recognized in the company’s provision and production of video content, specifically regarding its first original series House of Cards? At first, the backgrounds of television in the digital age and digital storytelling are introduced by defining four desires of the users that relate to the shift towards the Internet as well as four characteristics of digital storytelling which both serve as a central guideline in the following. Then, Netflix provision of stories is examined by paying attention to its development, business model, website and personalization service. After this, House of Cards is studied with the help of a textual analysis to elaborate on Netflix’ production of content. It turns out that digital storytelling mainly occurs in Netflix’ provision of content. The case of House of Cards shows that digital storytelling does not have much influence regarding the production of content. As a result, no remarkably new cinematic structure is created yet.