The Domestication of Netflix in the Gulf

Bouziane Zaid, Mohamed Benmoussa, Khayrat Ayyad, Mohammed Ibahrine, Abdelmalek El Kadoussi


The introduction of subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services has transformed the media landscape in the television market of Arab Gulf countries. This article adopts Silverstone’s domestication theory as a conceptual framework to analyze how users, as individuals and households, incorporate Netflix and engage with its content, how they create their own symbolic meanings and social practices, and how they integrate its algorithmic recommendations and personalization into their temporal-spatial routines. This article relies on qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews with 18 young urban adults from the six Gulf countries. The computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software package NVivo was used to conduct a series of qualitative analyses. The findings suggest that the users are deliberate in their adoption of Netflix and of the entertainment content they consume, and that Netflix has been incorporated into the users’ daily routines and activities to fit with their own personal and cultural needs.



Domestication, Gulf countries, localized content, Netflix, SVoD, user reception

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