I have to admit the Emmys and other such award events often take me by surprise. I often hear of them after the event and for some reason, I have never watched an award event live. Also, given the ungodly hours these events take place thanks to time differences has anyone in this country ever? Anyway, this year’s Emmys took place yesterday at 2:00 AM local time. There were important in one big way, they proved that streaming is the future.
If you are one of those people who gets confused by things like the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars and cannot tell the difference here is a useful short guide:
- Oscars are American awards for movies
- Emmys are for T.V shows
- Grammys are for music
N.B All the voting processes are as “free and fair” as an election in Africa can ever be. The process to get the winners is often convoluted and controversy is the order of the day.
Streaming platforms win big
If you haven’t noticed by now, I have quite the contempt for traditional multimedia giants that made their fortunes by divvying up the world into regions and then proceeded to extract large fortunes of money by licencing the same movie at different prices in each of these regions. I remember when I was a small boy it would take as long as five years for a movie to get to Zimbabwe on videocassette as media behemoths insisted on this model of monetisation.
When sites like ThePirateBay were set up it was mostly in protest to such models for while media companies often justified their way of doing things as being necessitated by technological limitations before broadband they no longer could use that excuse anymore. Instead of changing their ways and embracing streaming these companies often chose to spend millions and even billions on lawyers and politicians to fight torrents and pirate sites.
Then Netflix came along and changed all that. Legend has it the media moguls were stunned by how little they asked Netflix to pay in exchange for streaming rights in the 2000s as they started to count it as a threat sometime in the last decade. They had been oblivious to this opportunity as they stuck to their old Networks.
It has taken a long time for this to happen but thanks to the pandemic Netflix and other streaming platforms are now starting to reap the rewards for all that effort they put in. Not only are their shows now gaining more viewership than those of the Networks but now they are reaching critical acclaim too. The last one has been elusive as tweed-jacket wearing critics and journalists kept rewarding traditional networks for no plausible reason other than keeping with tradition.
This year was different. Apple TV’s Ted Lasso won big. Ted Lasso is a comedy about an American Football coach (why do they call it football is anyone’s guess considering they handle the ball more than they kick it) who crosses the pond becomes a coach for a (real) football team. It’s laid back, clash of cultures, optimistic comedy. The tweed jacket-wearing crowd thankfully acknowledged that and bestowed it with four awards. Netflix’s “The Crown” collected seven wins.
That wasn’t all. The whole list of nominees and sometimes winners was dominated by T.V shows from various streaming companies. Disney’s Wandavision, Netflix’s Kominsky Method, Bridgerton, This Is Us and many others dominated. Streaming is now truly taking over from the cables. The line is not so clear cut though as some traditional companies have started getting in the streaming game too. For example, CBS which became Paramount+ represents the CBS network with its shows such as FBI and NCIS.
NCIS is the sort of show that would have traditionally won the Emmys. This time most traditional shows except perhaps SNL didn’t win as they played second fiddle to the streaming-based shows.