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  • Writer's pictureLubechi Panda

The Impact of British Black History Month on ITVX, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix and Others

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK and around the world. It also aims to raise awareness of the challenges and struggles that Black people face due to racism and discrimination. One of the ways that Black History Month is celebrated is through the media, especially streaming platforms that offer a variety of content related to black history and culture.

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Streaming platforms have a significant impact on how people access and consume information and entertainment. They can also influence how people perceive and understand different aspects of society, such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, and more. Therefore, streaming platforms have a responsibility to provide diverse and inclusive content that reflects the realities and experiences of black people, as well as their achievements and contributions.

In recent years, streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others have recognised the importance of authentic diversity and inclusion in their content offerings. They have made efforts to highlight and promote content related to Black History Month in various ways, such as:

1. Curated Collections

Streaming platforms have created special curated collections of films, documentaries, and TV shows that celebrate Black history and culture during Black History Month. These collections often include both classic and contemporary content. For example Disney+ released four new documentaries that honour black history and culture. Some of the topics covered are the wrongful conviction of Muhammad Abdul Aziz for the assassination of Malcolm X, the murder of Emmett Till and its impact on the civil rights movement, the history and legacy of black actors in Hollywood and the music of artists like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Sly and the Family Stone.

2. Original Content

Some platforms invest in the creation of original content, including documentaries, series, and films that focus on Black history, figures, and cultural experiences. Such as Fresh Cuts on ITVX. ITV have relaunched a four-part series called Fresh Cuts which is focused on Feature-documentaries and bespoke content produced and directed by black filmmakers. Each episode will cover a different topic, such as the NHS, mental health, fashion and the British army.

3. Spotlight on Black Creators and Social Media Campaigns

Streaming platforms are placing a spotlight on the work of Black directors, writers, actors, and other creators across their platforms such as Netflix. This platform has highlighted Black stories as well as Black behind the camera on their streaming site. With social media the use specific hashtags and encourage discussions around Black history and culture such as #BlackTikTok

4. Data Analysis

Streaming platforms have used the occasion to analyse viewer data to better understand what types of Black history and culture content are most popular or resonant with their audiences, which inform future content decisions.

In the first quarter of 2023, the number of UK households subscribing to video-on-demand services amounted to around 19.08 million. With such a huge number of individuals subscribing to the number of streaming platforms that are available in the UK, it is of great importance that the history of Black culture, the rise of black talent and the excellence in Black film and TV is displayed not just one month in a year but further promoted daily for all of their viewers.

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