Social Media + Society
In this article, I examine how and why “platformization” was initially made sense of by writers in the American television industry. As streaming platforms entered the production space and became important homes for the commissioning of longform television content, they sought to build brand images as places that were both “data-driven” and characterized by work cultures of “creative freedom.” At least for a time in the mid-2010s, they succeeded in selling this conceptual link to the professional culture of Hollywood television screenwriters. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews from 2017 as well as a longer ranging analysis of trade press, I identify those features of the production culture established at major streaming platforms that forged the somewhat counterintuitive notion that “being data-driven” created an environment of greater “creative freedom” in the mid-2010s. However, these were the very early days of streaming platform production cultures, and norms began to crystallize, it was these very same features that began to undermine creative comfort with streaming platforms.
Original Publication Citation
Navar-Gill, A. (2020). The golden ratio of algorithms to artists? Streaming services and the platformization of creativity in American television production. Social Media + Society, 6(3), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120940701
Navar-Gill, Annemarie, "The Golden Ratio of Algorithms to Artists? Streaming Services and the Platformization of Creativity in American Television Production" (2020). Communication & Theatre Arts Faculty Publications. 46.