If Emmy nominations are any indication, video entertainment may be closing in on a tipping point where streaming media like Netflix and Amazon Prime start to wield more power than cable TV.
While premium cable channel HBO stacked up another very impressive list of Emmy nominations, streaming channel Netflix snapped HBO’s dominant 17-year streak as Emmy nominations champion.
Some are calling it a harbinger of imminent change
Others are saying the digital media tipping point is already here, that pay cable is already on its way out. As evidence of this claim, they point out this is no fluke. Netflix has amassed an incredible 112 nominations this year, double what it had in 2016. And Netflix is not alone in garnering an impressive number of Emmy nominations. The Hulu original series “The Handmaid’s Tale” earned 20 nominations, including an opportunity to win back to back nods as Best Drama Series.
That’s not to say traditional TV is down for the count
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” earned 22 nominations, and “Westworld” got 20, compared to Netflix’s two top shows: “The Crown” (13) and “Stranger Things” (12).
But the impressive numbers, especially when you compare them to previous years, definitely signal a sea change in how people are choosing to consume their video entertainment. Even as major cable companies are involved in massive mergers, Netflix and its streaming colleagues continue to pump out binge-worthy content, both original and through contracts with other entertainment media producers.
For Netflix, the message is simple: give people a wide variety of good content and don’t ask too much for it
Price point is a lesson the company learned early on, and learned the hard way. Since that minor misstep, Netflix has surged, pioneering a new way for consumers to enjoy their television viewing and even introducing new terms into the American lexicon.
Some have said this isn’t a tipping point signaling a change in media as much as it is a generational thing
Millennials who have less loyalty to traditional TV are making entertainment decisions, and they are more likely to choose streaming media than cable TV, at least that seems to be the trend. Meanwhile, older viewers are still watching traditional TV. That’s true to a point, and it’s certainly a point worth considering for each of the medium when they are developing their PR and marketing campaigns.
Niche marketing has been a real strength for Netflix, producing original programming that its core audience could easily connect with and get excited about. But, if Netflix and other streaming media really do want to encourage that tipping point to arrive sooner than later, they will have to figure out how to entice other viewers in other demographics to give them a try. Emmy nominations notwithstanding, this fight is far from over.