Netflix Quandaries: Culture, Content and Social Capital – Canadian Government Executive

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Digital Governance with Jeffrey RoyInnovationsTechnology
February 6, 2017

Netflix Quandaries: Culture, Content and Social Capital

Much as Netflix is going global, so too did the spectacle of the American Presidential election. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that fewer than one third of Halifax voters bothered to cast a ballot this fall for local elections, despite the possibility of doing so online.

The last few months have showed a complex and potentially ominous relationship between digital content and community engagement. While Netflix announced stellar results in October (the result of a relentless global expansion), Shomi, the Rogers and Shaw domestic on-demand service was abruptly shut down. In November, Canadian Heritage ended its public consultations on the digital future.

Netflix presents many challenges for Canadian producers and consumers, and these have been widely discussed. The company that was started by mailing movies to customers has fueled a new generation of so-called ‘cord cutters’ that are happily oblivious to the bundle offerings of domestic telecommunications providers. These providers, in turn, are furiously lobbying the CRTC – and anyone else that will listen, in an effort to loosen regulation and perhaps even introduce new taxation (though for others of course…).


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About this author

Jeffrey Roy

Jeffrey Roy

Jeffrey Roy is Professor in the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Management. He is a widely published observer and critic of the impacts of digital technologies on government and democracy. He has worked with the United Nations, the OECD, multinational corporations, and all levels of government in Canada. He has produced more than eighty peer-reviewed articles and chapters and his most recent book was published in 2013 by Springer: From Machinery to Mobility: Government and Democracy in a Participative Age. Among other bodies, his research has been funded by the IBM Center for the Business of Government and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He may be reached at: roy@dal.ca

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