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Bingeing without borders

Cable Girls (from Spain), Suburra (from Italy) and Ingobernable (from Spain) have been listed as some of the most binged shows in South Africa; proving that great storytelling transcends borders.

When stories from different countries, languages and cultures find a worldwide platform, where the only limitation is the creator’s imagination, then unique, yet universal, stories emerge that are embraced by a global audience. Access breaks down borders.

This according to Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix, who says the most practical way to bring great content to the world is to make it available to the world.

“That’s why, since 2015, all Netflix Original Content is available in 190 countries globally. When a new title is launched, all 125 million members, from Kansas to Kuala Lumpur, can enjoy it simultaneously – and watch at whatever pace they prefer since most episodes are uploaded at once. By removing the borders of time or geography, Netflix has democratised entertainment and broke the mould on traditional content ‘windows’,” says Sarantos.

Shows such as Dark (Germany) and Black Mirror (UK), acclaimed by critics and viewers alike, have demonstrated that great content has the ability to resonate with consumers locally and globally.

In a showcase in Rome this week, Netflix announced 7 new shows coming to the slate that transcend language and location with the aim of bringing great local stories to a global audience.

○         Netflix’s first Dutch original series, created by production company Pupkin will launch in 2019. In the liberal city of Amsterdam, these Dutch students have it all: youth, wealth, sex, power…and the portal to a demonic world from the Dutch Golden Age they opened by accident.

○         Mortel (France). Mortel tells the story of teenagers bound together by a supernatural force. The series will be created by Frédéric Garcia and produced by Mandarin Television.

○         The Wave (Germany). The Wave is based on the hit movie THE WAVE and inspired by real events. Produced by Rat Pack in association with Sony Pictures Television Germany.

○         Luna Nera (Italy). An original genre series about women suspected of witchcraft in 17th century Italy, created by Francesca Manieri, Laura Paolucci and Tiziana Triana, and produced by Fandango.

○         La Casa de Papel Part 3 (Spain). After the global success of Part 1 and 2 of the Spanish heist sensation, the Professor will develop new heists that will be unveiled in 2019.

○         The English Game (UK). A six-part drama about the invention of football and how those involved in its creation reached across the class divide to establish the game as the world’s most popular sport.  Produced by 42 and written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

○         Turn Up Charlie (UK), a new Netflix original comedy series from the UK starring Idris Elba. The eight-part series is executive produced by Idris Elba and Gary Reich.

Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix VP Development, Local Originals summaries their approach to content, “Our strategy is not to make global content. In fact, we’ve seen that when studios try to make ‘global content’ using non-specific cities, generic styles and forced-English language dialogue than it serves no one. At Netflix, we’ve found that the more hyper-local we are then the stories naturally travel on their own because themes emerge that are universal to the human condition. Viewers don’t need to look or sound like a character to relate to them.”

Arts and Entertainment

Timberlake to headline iTunes London festival

Apple has announced that Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jack Johnson and Jessie J are among the headliners at this year’s iTunes Festival in London.

Running every night in September at the Roundhouse, the iTunes Festival features more than 60 acts performing at the legendary venue.

Performances can be watched live or on-demand by millions of iOS users around the world on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as well as by music fans with iTunes on their computer or in stunning HD with Apple TV. Tickets are free for competition winners only.

Music fans from across the world, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico can win tickets to the iTunes Festival through competitions run by local media partners. In the UK, fans can win tickets using the iTunes Festival app and the iTunes Store as well as select media partners including Channel 4, Global Radio and Metro.

Sir Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse and Crowded House played the first iTunes Festival at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2007. Since then over 370 artists have performed in front of more than 370,000 fans and tens of millions more online and on television. Other performers have included Adele, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Jack White and Oasis. Performances are available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Arts and Entertainment

New PS games ready for download

Sony has announced its June line-up for PlayStation Plus subscribers, including Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and two new catalogue releases, Demon’s Souls and ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection.

Immerse yourself in the ancient world of Amalur and its 10,000 years of magical history in the action-packed tale Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, created by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore. Take destiny into your own hands as you combat your way through this vast and vibrant world as envisioned by the visionary creator of Spawn and much-admired artist, Todd McFarlane.

In Demon’s Souls you are summoned by a mysterious maiden as the last hope for humanity to take on a mighty demon horde that has taken over the kingdom of Boletaria, after a terrible curse was mistakenly unleashed by King Allant the XII whilst in search of greater powers. Prepare for a battle that has so far defeated all other realm champions as you set out on this epic journey to save the Kingdom from a fate worse than death.

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection brings two exciting worlds to PS Plus ready for fans to explore. Adopt the role of ICO, a young boy who finds himself imprisoned by the people of his village inside the walls of a menacing castle before joining forces with a young girl named Yorda as she attempts to escape in ICO. Take on the role of a young man named Wander in Shadow of the Colossus as you journey through an enchanted land, battling 16 enormous beasts known as the Colossi in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono, whose soul is trapped in this haunting world.

For gamer’s on-the-go, grab your PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) and transport yourself to lush forests in the cartoon-quality action title Rayman Origins. Alternatively, weave through airborne mazes as you avoid falling coconuts in Coconut Dodge HD, both available on PS Plus from 5th June.

PS Plus provides subscribers with access to top-rated games on PS3 and PS Vita, extending the service to two platforms for a single price for a one-year subscription. Additionally, 90 day subscriptions are also available giving user’s access to the same fantastic titles and great PlayStation Store discounts.

PS Plus subscribers receive an array of exclusive features, including 2GB cloud storage (1G for PS3 & 1G for PS Vita) for game saves. Automatic updates and beta access, as well as a huge collection of exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Network avatars, makes PS Plus the place to be in 2013.

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