Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Communication Studies

First Advisor

McLeod, Kembrew

First Committee Member

Kang, Jiyeon

Second Committee Member

Harvey, Trevor

Third Committee Member

Havens, Timothy

Fourth Committee Member

Peters, John


This dissertation examines streaming media both as a technological innovation and cultural practice that co-configures audience and industry. Strategies and tactics provide a theoretical framework for understanding streaming media. Streaming is theorized as a tactic; wherein audiences momentarily buck against the strategic logic of media conglomerates and copyright regimes. However, streaming, concomitantly, is an audience tactic and a strategic logic of an emergent streaming industry. This results in the blurring between first and third party and sanctioned and unsanctioned streaming. In this dissertation, I parse out what are the nascent streaming logics within this burgeoning industry and how they constitutively shape and re-shape audiences and traditional broadcasting logics.

Five typologies of streaming serve as conceptual tools for deepening our understanding of streaming media and technology. The first is streaming as a recent technological advancement, divided into software and hardware categories. The second conceptual framework is a typology of streaming that divides streaming into first and third party sanctioned and unsanctioned streaming. The third is streaming as an emergent industry. The fourth is streaming as a discourse, and the final typology divides streaming based on geography as transnational streaming, national streaming, and diasporic streaming. All of these classifications lay the groundwork for the further conceptualization of this important and emergent socio-technical practice.

Public Abstract

Streaming media is an emerging force in the way that we produce, consume, and distribute media. In this dissertation, I look at the impacts of this recent technological advancement on audience practices and media industries in a networked society. Audiences ubiquitously use streaming as a tactic to buck temporarily the strategic power of corporate conglomerates and governments. However, streaming technology is also used by media industries to form an emergent streaming media industry. Companies like Netflix are part of new ideas governing how television and film get made and distributed. The clash between Internet streaming companies and traditional cable companies raises tensions about shifting audience practices. Long-form viewing (also known as binging or marathoning of streaming content), algorithms, and cord-cutters and cord-nevers, those who have cut off their cable and those who will never get cable, are all examples of emergent forms of lore and ways that the industry thinks about audiences. Streaming is a global industry divided into transnational, national, and diasporic streaming. The widely popular Nollywood streaming site iROKOtv is a case study in diasporic streaming. Audiences use even newer technologies such as virtual private networks (VPNs) to continue the legacy of streaming as a tactic, which subverts broadcast’s attempts to lock down content through geo-fences and other government regulation.


publicabstract, Diasporic Streaming, Industry Lore, Media Industry Studies, Media and Technology, Netflix, Strategies and Tactics, Streaming Media


vii, 205 pages


Copyright 2015 Benjamin Edward Burroughs

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