The Television Academy will eliminate distribution of DVD screeners for eligible shows beginning with the 2020 Emmy cycle.
Designed to eliminate both monetary and physical waste, the move will have a substantive impact on the strategy of Emmy marketers. It also makes the academy the first major entertainment-industry organization to bar physical screeners.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Academy to take an important first step to move the industry forward in an area of great concern for both our partners and members, reducing costs and delivering a tremendous positive impact for the environment,” said Television Academy chairman Frank Scherma. “Television has an ever-expanding role as the world’s most innovative and popular entertainment medium, and this decision embraces the evolution of viewing practices and preferences of the Academy’s 25,000 members and the industry at large.”
The new policy will go into effect immediately following this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, scheduled for Sept. 22. Going forward, screeners will be provided only via digital platforms hosted by producers and distributors, or through the Television Academy’s viewing platform.
Spending on DVD screeners has ballooned in recent years, as the number of Emmy-eligible programs has skyrocketed — with some companies, such as Netflix, spending millions of dollars on physical screeners alone.