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From Netflix to iQiyi: As the World Turns, Serial Dramas in Virtual Circulation

Ying Zhu looks at new developments for Chinese and global streaming services.

March 21, 2024 4:00pm

March 21, 2024, 4-5:30 pm
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism (ASC) G34

University of Southern California

A literary storytelling format dating back to the era of print medium, serial narrative has reinvented itself in numerous ways in the past decades, surviving successively the traditional TV network system, the rise of multi-channel cable and global satellite delivery, shifts in domestic and global regulatory policies and ownership rules, and most recently the rise of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, now Disney Plus in the US, and Youku, Tudou, Bytedance, Mango TV, iQiyi, and Sohu in China. This talk discusses the interplay between serial dramas and streaming services in PRC and the US, the two leading countries in content-production and circulation in the era of non-synchronized, instantaneous, and globalized streaming ecosystem. It highlights the interaction between Netflix and iQiyi as the former seeks global expansion and the latter local dominance. The focus is on dramatic programing, particularly mini-series or what the media industry in the US now calls limited series.