21/03/2022 - PETER INGRAM
2022 Oscars sees record presence of VoD titles among Best Picture nominees

The 2022 Academy Awards have again highlighted the impact of Netflix and other video-on-demand (VoD) services on the film landscape. Of the ten films in contention for Best Picture (the most nominees for the coveted award since 2010), three are SVoD-produced originals or exclusives, the highest ever percentage, with two nominations for Netflix (Power of the Dog and Don’t Look Up) and one for Apple TV+ (CODA).

The increasing presence of SVoD services among Oscar nominations reflects their growing investment in original content. Netflix spent $6.1bn on original content in 2021, or almost double the original spend of 2019. Meanwhile, newer services such as Apple TV+ have also heavily invested in original content since launching, with original spend in 2021 reaching $2.6bn, up by almost $2bn on its 2019 spend of $0.7bn.

This growth in SVoD services’ spend corresponds to an increase in the share of their nominations for Best Picture. In 2019, SVoD titles accounted for one of the eight nominees for Best Picture (with Netflix-produced Roma initially being met with criticism for not being a predominantly theatrically released title). But with three of the ten nominees in 2022, SVoD services are showing that their content can be not only popular and widely accessible but also of critical worth.

And while the legacy studios continue to also invest heavily in movie content, perhaps the real winners are the audience: It’s also noteworthy this year that US viewers can watch all ten films nominated for Best Picture in their homes, ahead of the Awards ceremony, via either SVoD services or transactional VoD (TVoD).

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