Streaming SEA

Platform Imaginaries: methodologies and theories for roaming in South East Asian streaming entertainment platforms

Organising Team: Associate Professor Emma Baulch, Professor Annette Hill

Streaming platforms recognise the extent to which the potential audiences for their products are now made up significantly of “roamers,” people finding diverse routes through the options available and combining them in different ways. This presentation reflects on methodological and theoretical developments for understanding the precise movements, combinations and connections which become possible for roaming audiences in rapidly expanding commercial entertainment platforms in South East Asia. Drawing upon a qualitative transnational audience study in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam (with ongoing research in Germany and Canada), the presentation considers how to analyse patterns of movement across streaming services, e.g. Netflix, entertainment platforms, e.g. YouTube, music platforms, e.g. Spotify, alongside national cable and public television channels. Through the use of visualisations of platforms using a combination of creative and walking methodologies this empirical entry point to platforms enables three perspectives by audiences themselves: 1 a drawing exercise that creatively represents spatial relations; 2) a walk and talk through their platform map that articulates mobility relations; and 3) a narrative account of their platform map and its imaginary landscape that explores affective relations. Early findings the virtual and material are intertwined in audience mobility and motility, closely tied to media freedom and power. In our study, audiences adapt to life in a commodified platform culture, becoming enmeshed in the commercial foreclosure of new digital media spheres.

Annette Hill is a Professor of Media and Communication at Lund University, Sweden and Visiting Professor at King’s College London. Her research focuses on audiences and popular culture, with interests in media engagement, everyday life, genres, production studies and cultures of viewing. She is the author of nine books, and many articles and book chapters in journals and edited collections, which address varieties of engagement with reality television, news and documentary, television drama, entertainment formats, live events and sports entertainment, film violence and media ethics. Her latest book is The Handbook of Mobile Socialities (with M Hartmann and M Andersson) and her next books are Media Engagement (with Peter Dahlgren, Routledge 2022) and  Roaming Audiences (Routledge 2023).


EventStreaming Southeast Asia
DateJuly 4 2022
Time2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Time
MethodZoom - ID: 819 8498 7535, Password: 946021