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Day 61 – Q 1. How is access to global content on entertainment through platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime transforming the cultural understanding of the Indian youth? Examine.

1. How is access to global content on entertainment through platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime transforming the cultural understanding of the Indian youth? Examine.   

नेटफ्लिक्स और अमेज़ॅन प्राइम जैसे प्लेटफार्मों के माध्यम से मनोरंजन पर वैश्विक सामग्री की पहुंच भारतीय युवाओं की सांस्कृतिक समझ को कैसे बदल रही है? जांच करें।


In today’s world, television’s role in structuring audiences’ experiences and understanding of the social world is increasing. One such  phenomenon in television viewing world in recent times has been the Internet TV, which allows audiences to view television programmes distributed through online streaming to desktops, smart TVs, and portable devices such as notebook computers and smartphones, which is having a great impact on present day Indian youth.


  • The introduction of Internet TV technologies such as Netflix is of crucial importance especially in the backdrop of smartphone revolution of recent times. The smartphone has changed society more than any single individual, movement or product. This is true for India and for the entire world, particularly in the last five years because data usage and connectivity costs have fallen appreciably.
  • In a country of 1.3 billion people, Online streaming platforms have a subscriber base of about 20 million, many of whom would arguably be from the upper middle class. Smartphones, which indeed witnessed their biggest penetration among India’s growing mobile telephony industry in the last decade, are still somewhat of a luxury that a section of the population can’t afford.
  • Although online streaming is an emerging media technology, and consequently primarily associated with younger users, amongst the 1.3 billion Indians, almost half are below twenty-five, which indicates a growing relevance of new media in the Indian context. India, with around 500 million Internet users is of particular interest, especially to global media.
  • Online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video combine technological and programming innovation to draw audiences through the rhetoric of control, audience autonomy and quality content, changing the television landscape by influencing how audiences select, view, share and interpret television. 
  • Additionally, a further point of interest is that Video on Demand(VOD) audiences in India, originally conceived as seeking English language content, are enthusiastically engaging with new ‘glocalized’ products – programmes that are regionalized and diversified to adapt to local tastes while retaining the brand of quality content
  • Further, transformations of VOD’s content and the use of subtitles as a domestication tool for urban, English-educated Indian audiences in engaging with Indian as well as transnational content which is helping shape their worldview.
  • The targeting of niche audiences in India who are primarily urban, upper middle class, educated young adults has been the USP of VOD’s. The urban exposure and millenials are reasons for the openness to try the off-beat, creative content on VOD’s.
  • It also provides various gratifications due to watching transnational content which helps in identification with non-western themes, cultural learning and even respite from American formats, which is leading to real global exposure devoid of western dominance for Indian youth.
  • The censorship battle between Indian audiences and the government is not fought on online platforms, which again, owing to its digital-only nature circumvents censorship certifications subject to all other platforms, which also becomes a factor in shaping cultural understanding of Indian youth where traditional views are exposed towards new aspects of global culture.
  • Online streaming platforms as a cultural phenomenon that have engendered the transformation of dinner time – amongst millennials with access to the platforms – as a secondary leisure activity; demonstrating how VOD’s are ‘incorporated’ into the everyday routines and the social community of the household.
  • In a positive light, VOD’s are seen as enabling social interactions for youth by drawing people into the conversation because of the ubiquitous interest in online platform’s content shows in their social circles.
  • Users of VOD’s who are also viewers of its content actively influence their friends and relatives, through direct word of-mouth as well as social media activity.
  • The usage of these platforms is also considered as unfavourable to meaningful social experiences. Watching shows together can be particularly challenging as people find it hard to negotiate between the discourse of freedom and personalisation that these platforms engender resulting in the fragmentation of audiences, and the shared social situations wherein individual preferences are compromised by the politics of viewing.


Smartphones have revolutionised access to everything from communication to information and entertainment, typified by streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime as well as news consumption which is fundamentally altering the cultural and social interactions of Indian youth who have access to it.

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