“The Problem with Jon Stewart” (Apple TV+)
Streamers have once again outperformed traditional broadcasters in the latest primetime Emmy nominations, but only just. While pure broadcaster-led shows account for 13 of the 34 nominations for outstanding series or TV movies, titles from Netflix and other major subscription video-on-demand services received 14 nominations – their lowest number of nominations since 2019.
According to Ampere Analysis’ latest report, the 2023 numbers are somewhat skewed by the simultaneous release strategy deployed by HBO for its titles on HBO Max/Max, which accounted for a further seven nominations, and also perhaps demonstrated that the divide between broadcast and streaming content is becoming increasingly blurred.
Across the six TV award categories, those seven nominations mean HBO is the leading producer, followed by Netflix with four and Amazon (across both Freevee and Prime Video), Hulu, NBC, and CBS with three. In the award categories that offer the greatest prospects for future seasons, such as Drama and Comedy series, VOD Originals and HBO/Max’s simultaneous releases secured 80% of the total nominations. These categories are a more attractive content investment for platforms, which rely more on these key titles that create ongoing consumer discourse and to facilitate subscriber retention and acquisitions, Ampere noted.
2023 also marks the first year a VOD Original title, Apple TV+’s “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” has been nominated in the Outstanding Talk Series category. This category and Outstanding Scripted Variety Series have typically relied on responding to recent news to engage audiences, which has been difficult for VOD services to emulate as much of their content is filmed months in advance. These categories have also historically been dominated by a small pool of popular long-running broadcast programmes such as “Saturday Night Live,” “The Daily Show” and “The Late Late Show,” but Apple’s nomination suggests that SVOD services can also succeed in the genre.
More widely, the large presence of SVOD services among Emmy nominations reflects their growing investment in original content. Netflix is forecast to spend US$7.6 billion on original content in 2023 (over triple that spent in 2019), while Apple TV+ and Amazon are all expected to see original spend reach over US$4.6 billion at year end – 7x and 11x their values in 2019, respectively.
“However, ongoing heavy investment in high quality new productions will continue to be essential to attracting and engaging audiences in the face of strong competition and as cost-conscious consumers continue to evaluate their spending on TV services,” said Peter Ingram, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis and the author of the report.