Imbalances in On-Demand Documentary Offerings. The Case of a Small Media Market: Belgium

Catalina Iordache, Eline Livémont


In the digital age, transnational audiovisual flows have grown exponentially, bringing the discussion on the imbalance in global media flows back into focus. In an attempt to address a gap in flows research, the current article focuses on a genre that has received limited attention, namely documentary. Although documentary is a genre that can go beyond commercial and entertainment goals, it is still prone to the same imbalance in distribution, mainly driven by commercial interests. To this end, the present article conducts a flow study on the video-on-demand documentary offerings in Belgium. The available titles are analyzed based on (1) country of origin, (2) language, and (3) filming locations. Results indicate a continued dominance of productions from the “global North,” particularly on international platforms active in Belgium. Although Belgian documentary is underrepresented, and primarily on offer by local platforms, there is evidence of a geo-linguistic market.


documentary, audiovisual flow, media flow, flow studies, Belgium, video-on-demand, small media market

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