Research project

The business of films and television drama is rapidly changing with the growing popularity of on-demand culture, whereby audiences are able to watch films and television drama online. Slowly but surely, the technology has been created for consumers to access streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Studios, Hulu and iTunes on any consumer device connected to the Internet, including smart TV, video game consoles, laptops, tablets and smart phones, increasingly through mobile apps.

The popularity of subscription services Netflix and Amazon Studios stand out with dozens of millions of subscribers worldwide. Television broadcasters and specialist companies have equally moved into this new online space, creating on-demand libraries and enabling cultural diversity in local or national markets. Thus, the on-demand market in the UK is comprised of leading global players such as Netflix and Amazon Studios, as well as locally-oriented broadcasters such as BBC iPlayer and All 4 and locally-oriented companies such as Curzon Home Cinema and BFI Player, amongst others.




Our aim is to explore how on-demand culture is changing the way films and television drama are produced, distributed and consumed. We are interested in the following themes and questions:

  • How are on-demand platforms changing audience behaviour and the cultures of film and television viewing? What is the role of algorithms and curation in guiding and impacting upon audience behaviour?
  • How do Netflix and Amazon Studios exert control over this new market and what place is there for independent operators committed to cultural diversity? Are the leading global on-demand players disruptors or evolutionary innovators?
  • How do different business models of VOD viewing compare with another?
  • How does on-demand culture impact upon gatekeepers such as sales agents and distributors in the distribution business? What is the role of content aggregators in enabling access to on-demand platforms? Do processes of re-intermediation and dis-intermediation become more common?
  • How are traditional release strategies for films and television drama changing? Why is day-and-date releasing an increasingly popular alternative?
  • What opportunities does on-demand culture offer film and television producers?


Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 16.28.09 copy.jpg