Streaming, disruption and the evolving cultures of use

Presented by Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner

Date: Friday 12 April, 2019
Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm
Location: Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37) 


This paper draws upon an empirical project into television consumption during a period (2015-17) when the arrival of Netflix transformed the television market in Australia. The results of that project have served as a provocation to the argument that television  studies needs to focus in a more considered and apposite way on how consumption is now configured in a context where streaming has become a major constituent of the experience of television. This, the paper argues, may require not only a shift in focus, but also in method and approach.


While television studies has used the notion of binge-watching as a shorthand means of referencing one of the new patterns of consumption facilitated by access to streaming services,  this is really only satisfactory as a temporary placeholder for a more located, contingent and nuanced account of the evolving everyday cultures of use we find in the households of those consuming television across platforms and borders, and via multiple devices and screens. The manner in which these cultures of use are imbricated into a contemporary domestic media ecology has not been at the top of our research agenda lately -- distracted as we have been by the need to track and understand the dramatic changes in  distribution and delivery. To begin to correct this situation, we need to know more about how these social practices are embedded in our everyday lives. To start with, we need to understand more about how viewing choices are made  -- and these are choices that are not only about content but also about the site  of consumption and the selection of devices as well as the ways in which attention is distributed across multiple screens. Further, we know very little about how such choices are now integrated into what Silverstone once call the 'moral economy' of the household. This paper concludes by making some suggestions about how we might approach consumption in the current context, a context  in which streaming services such as Netflix are now a major and perhaps critically determining component.



Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner is the founding Director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies (2000-2012), and one of the leading figures in cultural and media studies in Australia and internationally. His research has covered a wide range of forms and media – literature, film, television, radio, new media, journalism, and popular culture. He has published 25 books with national and international academic presses; the most recent are (with David Rowe and Emma Waterton) Making Culture: Commercialisation, Transnatonalism and the State of ‘Nationing’ in Contemporary Australia (Routledge, 2018), Reinventing the Media (Routledge, 2016), (with Jinna Tay) Television Histories in Asia: Issues and Contexts, (Routledge, 2015), and (with Anna Cristina Pertierra) Locating Television: Zones of Consumption (Routledge, 2013). His work has been translated into 11 languages. A past president of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2004-2007), an ARC Federation Fellow (2006-2011) and Convenor of the ARC-funded Cultural Research Network (2006-2010), Graeme Turner has had considerable engagement with federal research and higher education policy. He is only the second humanities scholar to serve on the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

In collaboration with Dr Kylie Brass, Graeme Turner is the author of a major research monograph prepared for the Department of Industry and the Academies of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mapping the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Australia (2014). Recently, he has been a member of the Technical Working Group which developed the Engagement and Impact assessment process, and he chaired the Humanities and Creative Arts Panel for ERA in 2015 and 2018. Graeme Turner’s current research projects include studies of the growth of transnational video streaming and its impact on Australian media, and the changing condition of the relation between the media and the democratic state in the post-broadcast era. He is currently preparing a retrospective collection of his published essays for publication.




About Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS

Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Design is a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences initiative that brings together researchers in the School of Communication and Arts and the T.C. Beirne Law School.  

Please see below for upcoming and past events or follow this link back to Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Design homepage