One thing should be absolutely clear: Social Media and the Internet is forcing the world into globalised thinking, no matter what rightwingers, ethno-pluralists and identitarians want to make you think. They are simply an occurance of countermotion, more or less not to avoid in this development. No chinese firewall and no copyright-geoblocking can reverse this development and it will only serve us in times of climate change, when we absolutely need a global consciousness about the thing to be done. One thing I didn’t count in is a certain player in that development and that is Netflix.
It makes sense: Stories are a human universal and we watch movies around the planet, everywhere. It makes sense, that the biggest streaming plattform for movies becomes a servant of true cultural globalisation and the numbers of international cross market saturations are nothing but impressive:
Netflix’s shows are watched widely beyond their local markets. Dystopian thrillers seem to travel particularly well. In 2016, the company added the Brazilian dystopian thriller series “3%,” a bleak look at the near future; about half of its viewers were from outside Brazil. When the German thriller “Dark” dropped in 2017, it hit the company’s Top 10 list in 136 countries, and about 90 percent of the series’ viewers were outside Germany.
Make no mistake: The downside to this is a global narrowing of ideas and tastes. Dystopian Thrillers are internationally successful? Expect more dystopian thrillers then. But this downside may be a small price to pay, when we can have a global conversation about human standards of living and basic rights. Consider the implications that a simple british comedy series had on the political conversation in Thailand:
After it plastered Bangkok with billboards advertising “Sex Education” last month, a conservative Thai political party filed a complaint against the company for airing the racy British comedy, which the party called “a great challenge to Thai society.” The young, progressive Thai internet responded in fury, and in the outrage, people started talking about actual problems in Thai society, like the lack of sex education and the high rates of teenage pregnancy.
Netflix ist globalizing the conversation about the human condition and it does so by playing movies. And this is, for a very very very long time, a thing about the internet that I really really really like.