Branding has been described as the defining industrial practice of television’s recent past. This article examines publicly available industry documents, trade press coverage, and executive interviews to understand the place of traditional television network branding in subscription video on-demand (SVOD) portals as represented by Amazon and Netflix. Focusing on materials relating to licensed rather than original content and this content’s role within the US domestic SVOD market, two distinct approaches emerge. For Amazon, the brand identities of some television networks act as valuable lures drawing customers into its Prime membership program. For Netflix, linear television networks are competitors whose brand identities reduce Netflix’s own brand equity. Ultimately, Amazon’s efforts to build a streaming service alongside network brand identities and Netflix’s efforts to build its own brand at the expense of such identities demonstrate the need to think about contemporary television branding as an ongoing negotiation between established and emerging practices.

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Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Wayne, M.L. (2018). Netflix, Amazon, and branded television content in subscription video on-demand portals. Media, Culture & Society, 40(5), 725–741. doi:10.1177/0163443717736118