Netflix overtook HBO for the most Emmy nominations this year, marking a milestone for the streaming giant. Is this victory owed to the platform’s quality of shows or to the sheer volume of its accelerated content production?
The 2018 Emmy Nominations were released last week, and for the first time, the most nominations were awarded to a video streaming service. Netflix topped the list with 112 total nominations, edging out HBO with 108.
Netflix upped its nom count from 91 in 2017 to 112 in 2018 in large part thanks to the fact that it’s pouring vastly more money into original content than all of its competitors. Netflix spent $6.3 billion on original content in 2017, compared with $4.5 billion spent by Amazon and $2.5 billion apiece from HBO and Hulu. In 2018, Netflix is projected to spend more than double this year’s amount—more than $13 billion—on content.
Amazon Prime Video and Hulu also saw modest gains in nominations from 2017 to 2018, increasing their haul from 16 to 22 and 18 to 27, respectively. As Apple and Facebook ramp up their own original content operations, traditional network and premium cable channels may well continue to lose ground to streaming challengers with deep pockets.
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The bigger question is whether that’s a good thing. HBO has maintained consistent quality over quantity for two decades. Netflix’s seemingly bottomless original content catalog is also churning out plenty of hits and quality shows, but that’s along with an increasing number of trashy or underwhelming movies and shows. In an entertainment world where ratings matter less than filling up a content queue for endless bingeing, how much money can Netflix throw at new shows before it begins to hit the bottom of its deep pockets?