Netflix won its first Emmy in 2013, fast-forward 5 years and streaming giants Amazon and Neflix Emmy success counted 31 wins combined at this year’s award ceremony.
Back in 2013, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Jeff Sarandos announced: “The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”
He was alluding to HBO’s reputation for prestige TV and industry awards dominance. At the 2018 Emmy Awards, Sarandos’ goal was achieved, when Netflix managed to tie the programming giant for the most awards of the night — 23.
Amazon Prime Video had a big night too, snagging eight trophies, including the prestigious Outstanding Comedy Series for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Why the Amazon and Netflix Emmy success?
The trend of streaming service taking home more awards as the industry continues to embrace these platforms is to be expected, especially as the most prolific and successful content creators in TV and film (including Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rimes) move to streaming services.
Traditionally, having the industry’s top talent brings audience and awards success, so over the next few years, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other SVoD platforms will draw in increasingly large audiences and award hauls.
With its own video-on-demand platform in the pipeline, Apple will certainly be pleased at the embrace of streaming content.
Apple entering the streaming market
The tech giant has already secured productions from the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Steven Spielberg, but seeing Netflix and Amazon’s success will incentivise Apple to adapt its content strategy to better compete with the other streaming services for awards, as well as viewers.
Netflix and Amazon will need to continue to produce innovative programming that generate pop culture buzz to continue to stand out in a crowded market.
The 2018 Emmy Awards didn’t spell doom and gloom for traditional TV broadcasters, however. HBO and NBC accrued 23 and 16 awards respectively. But these players should be looking over their shoulders.
The number of awards won by their streaming rivals indicates a market that is moving toward streaming video.
What can broadcasters do?
If HBO, NBC and other broadcasters want to combat this change, they must pull all of the production stops out the bag. If its recent Emmy success and juggernaut of a show Game of Thrones are any indication, HBO has the best fighting chance to combat the rise of streaming.
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This is particularly true now that HBO has the backing of AT&T, after the telco acquired HBO’s parent company Time Warner back in June 2018.
AT&T’s resources and influence in the US will help HBO maintain its awards momentum.
However, smaller budgets, and more limited reach and consumer access, will hinder other broadcasters when trying to prevent the dominance of streaming services.
To help combat this, linear broadcasters should consider restructuring the flexibility of their TV schedules with fewer or more infrequent ad breaks to increase audience appeal as well as make their content more readily available via streaming services if they want to help win more Emmys and viewers.
Meanwhile, the streaming services will need to turn their focus to competing among each other as they grow in strength and as new players enter the market.
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