Content on Cloud Video Services Produced by the Service Provider

   Endangered large

Video materials, primarily films and television programs, which are produced by companies that maintain their own distribution platforms and are exclusively available through these platforms.

Digital Species: Sound and Vision, Cloud

Trend in 2022:

No change No Change

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Trend in 2023:

No change No Change

Previously: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve | Inevitability

It would require a major effort to prevent or reduce losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.


Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of corporate preservation planning; lack of preservation capability; conflating backup with preservation; loss of original recordings; lack of preservation voice at executive level; poor planning and roadmap for infrastructure; slapdash procurement or migration to new systems; mergers and acquisitions; profusion of corporate systems; complex intellectual property rights; single point of failure; technical protection measures that inhibit reasonable preservation actions.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Backup and documentation; use of open formats and open source software; data management planning; licensing that enables preservation; corporate preservation capability; resilient to hacking; authenticity and integrity managed; recognition of preservation functions at executive level; technology watch; preservation audits; participation in the preservation community.

2023 Review

This entry was added in 2019 to represent collections that are highly significant in cultural and social terms. It was adopted as the Jury was unclear whether the content could be played outside of the producers’ publication platform. This introduces technical dependencies between content and software amplified by rights management.

The 2021 Jury agreed with the Endangered classification but discussed how the growth of content produced with no or limited preservation mandate has led to greater risk, and the continued scale of that growth and opacities regarding preservation by companies also led to the 2022 Taskforce noting a trend towards even greater risk. However, just as the 2022 Taskforce was completing its work, they welcomed the news of BFI taking on responsibility for the preservation of key titles from Netflix, commenting on how it represents a commitment to act on previous recommendations but not yet a ‘material improvement’ at that stage so there was no change to the 2022 trend at that time.

The 2023 Council agreed with the Endangered classification with the overall risks remaining on the same basis as before (no change to the trend).

Additional Comments

This entry has five aspects to consider: 1. It falls outside the scope of traditional regulatory frameworks and archiving has not yet been included in any legislative framework, unlike broadcast TV, where there is a designated archive in most developed nations. 2. As a result, the collection and preservation of content from online platforms is underdeveloped, and the content remains unavailable in public archives. 3. These risks are mitigated by the fact that the commercial archives are technologically advanced, with mature digital ecosystems and skills, and much of the content has a ‘long tail’ business model, and as commercial products have value, preservation incentives are clear. 4. However, these are often stored at scale on LTO tapes, and so specific issues arise with the obsolescence of LTO tape technologies for the broadcast sector. 5. Nonetheless, issues remain around archiving relevant assets which may not be valued by the production company.

It may also be worth considering broadening legal deposit legislation so there is a mandate to deposit this content with an appropriate repository - though the volume may be unwelcome as many institutions are under-resourced.

Case Studies or Examples:

  • Progress has been made by the BFI National Archive in 2023 in the UK context. A formal agreement with Netflix in 2022 was followed by a similar agreement with Amazon Prime Video in Summer 2023; and by October 2023 the digital preservation workflow for curator-selected UK Netflix content was established, with two complete seasons (20 episodes) under preservation, and throughput building. Workflow for Amazon Prime Video is to follow in early 2024, and ongoing discussions with the other platform owners. See BFI (2022) ‘Bridgerton, Top Boy and Heartstopper join the BFI National Archive and the nation’s screen heritage’, BFI News. Available at: [accessed 24 October 2023]

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