TUDUM. That’s the first beat you hear whenever you watch a TV show or movie on Netflix, which I would argue has become as iconic a sound as the Nokia ringtone was for a previous age.
After all, can you imagine how much worse the COVID-19 lockdown would be if we were stuck in our homes in a world without streaming? And let’s face it, without the success of Netflix, content owners like Disney and Warner Bros. wouldn’t have launched their own streaming platforms Disney+ and HBO Max, respectively. It was Netflix which took the risk by pivoting from delivering DVDs to launching a streaming platform, transforming the entertainment industry as much as Apple changed the music industry when it launched iTunes.
Now, the sound has become the inspiration for the streaming giant’s very first global fan event. TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event is a massive three-hour live stream that will bring together Netflix’s biggest stars and creators from all over the world on the virtual stage on Sept. 25.
Bringing the world together
Over 70 series, films, and specials will be showcased in a day full of exclusives and first looks, including “Money Heist” (“La casa de papel”), “Stranger Things”, “Bridgerton”, “The Witcher”, “Cobra Kai”, “The Silent Sea”, “Cowboy Bebop”, and “The Sandman”. Fans can even co-stream the event on their Facebook, Twitch or YouTube channel by registering at the official site.
“What is TUDUM?”
That’s what “Cowboy Bebop” star John Cho asks in the official teaser after several stars try to pronounce TUDUM the right way.
And as you will see from the teaser, so many celebrities have made Netflix their home.
“Our goal is simple: to entertain and honor Netflix fans from across the globe,” Netflix said in the description of the TUDUM: A Netflix Global Fan Event teaser posted on its YouTube channel.
The livestream event begins at 12 midnight Philippine Standard Time, and will be broadcast across Netflix’s YouTube channels worldwide, in addition to Twitter and Twitch.
Apart from the livestream event itself, Netflix will have special pre-shows spotlighting Korean and Indian series and films along with exciting anime content that will kick off at 8 PM Philippine Standard Time on specific channels.
Streaming changes everything
Watching TV shows and movies online has become a way of life that it’s easy to take streaming for granted and forget how revolutionary it truly is. Just as my Gen Z daughter only experienced broadband and can’t imagine the world of dial-up internet connections, streaming is now part of the digital lifestyle of many people.
Imagine if we were forced to go to the cinema just to watch a movie, or have to turn on the TV during a specific time slot just to catch a show, instead of streaming it on demand.
Streaming has changed not only the way content is consumed, but also created. Pundits once thought Netflix was crazy for investing in original content, but imagine what would have happened if it had relied on the catalogue of the content owners who pulled out their titles to launch their own platforms?
And imagine what would have happened to the creators who couldn’t bring their vision to life, if it weren’t for Netflix?
Platform for creators
For example, “Kingdom” made history as the first Korean original series of Netflix when it premiered on Jan. 25, 2019. “Kingdom” writer Kim Eun Hee said she didn’t think it would be possible to come out with a series like “Kingdom” in Korea until Netflix made it happen. Three years ago, no one could have imagined that “Kingdom” would become a global sensation. This year, Netflix will invest nearly US$500M in Korean content.
You have Zack Snyder being able to bring “Army of the Dead” to life thanks to Netflix, after it was stuck in development hell since 2007. Neil Gaiman marveling that he is getting to see what happens when you bring dreams to life while giving a sneak peek at “The Sandman” at the Netflix Geeked Week event. And the critically-acclaimed Philippine graphic novel “TRESE” becoming a Netflix Original Anime Series.
And let’s not forget how “La casa de papel”, which flopped when it originally aired in Spain, became the most popular show on Netflix and gave birth to a global phenomenon.
Streaming is just the start. From Fortnite concerts, to virtual communities, to NFT art, to play to earn, the real world is becoming more virtual, and the virtual world is becoming more real. The COVID-19 has accelerated our adoption of the digital lifestyle, and there’s no turning back.
We have already evolved.