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

Ying Zhu, the professor in the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University, discussed the evolution of serial narrative storytelling and its dynamic relationship with streaming services in the U.S. and China.
March 22, 2024
Image highlights Ying's speech and Chinese programs on the Netflix streaming service.

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.