There was more choice than ever before when it came to marking the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards nomination ballots, but that choice proved to be a good thing. Nearly all the newly launched direct-to-consumer services — namely, Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus and Quibi — had a good showing, possibly signaling a further shift in awards seasons to come as broadcast networks and basic cable series get outshone by streaming fare.
The popularity of Baby Yoda and Pedro Pascal’s “The Mandalorian” with Television Academy voters helped put the new Disney streaming service, which launched just last November, squarely on the awards map (19 noms overall), and not just in below-the-line categories: The Lucasfilm live-action series is also in contention for drama series.
November-born Apple TV Plus earned 18 noms, including eight for “The Morning Show,” while Quibi, which debuted in April, can now boast 10 nominations, even as the rollout of its on-the-go mobile-first platform garnered ridicule. (HBO Max, which launched with shows such as “Legendary” and Anna Kendrick’s “Love Life” just days before the Emmy eligibility window closed at the end of May, did not pick up any nominations, however. NBCUniversal’s Peacock did not launch originals until mid-July, making them eligible next year.)
Of the 13 programs with 10 or more nominations, only one — NBC mainstay “Saturday Night Live” — airs on broadcast TV. It’s not hard to see how Apple TV Plus’ prestige-style programming and Disney Plus’ crowd pleasers might start to forge a solid path to regular recognition from the Television Academy.
But it is less clear how awards visibility translates to the average consumer mulling over which streaming service is worth a spot in their monthly entertainment subscription budget.
“I doubt Emmy nominations and awards have that much of an effect on consumer demand for these platforms immediately,” says Jeffrey Wlodarczak, equity analyst, Pivotal. “However, over time, if you are winning a lot of awards, it likely points to quality programming, which I assume drives subscriber growth over time.”
If this momentum can be kept up over the next couple of years, that could mean laurels for the freshly minted streamers — and revenue dollars to boot.