14/09/2021   Peter Ingram
SVoD services produced half of 2021’s Emmy nominated shows

The 2021 Primetime Emmy awards have again highlighted the impact of Netflix and other subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services on the TV landscape, with SVoD-produced titles accounting for 19 of the 38 nominees for outstanding series or TV movie.

Across the seven TV award categories, the leading producers are Netflix with eight nominations, HBO with six and Amazon Prime Video with four. In the award categories that offer the greatest prospects for future seasons, such as Drama and Comedy series, SVoD services secured 75% of the total nominations, with these categories a more attractive content investment for platforms with a subscription model that rely on long-term consumer engagement.

The large presence of SVoD services among Emmy nominations reflects their growing investment in original content. Netflix is forecast to spend $5.6bn on original content in 2021, an increase of over $2.6bn since 2019. Meanwhile, newer services such as Disney+ (nominated for two Emmys this year) and Apple TV+ (nominated for one) have also heavily invested in original content since launching, with forecast original spend in 2021 expected to reach $2.5bn and $2bn respectively, representing increases of over $1.3bn apiece since 2019.

This growth in spend has corresponded to an increase in the share of Emmy nominations for outstanding series or TV movie received by SVoD service-produced titles. In 2017, SVoD titles were nominated for seven (17%) of the 42 shows in the running for a major series award, but in 2021 they account for 50% of these nominations. This rising trend indicates VoD content to be not only popular and widely accessible but of great critical merit. However, while Netflix and other SVoD services can celebrate their nomination triumph this year, ongoing heavy investment in high quality new productions will continue to be essential to attracting and engaging audiences in the face of strong competition.

The only programme award categories this year in which no SVoD-produced shows feature are variety sketch series and variety talk series, although these categories’ dominance by a small pool of popular long-running broadcast programmes such as Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and The Late Late Show has made it difficult for new formats to succeed in this genre.

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