Streaming services are the modern day titans of in-home media consumption, and their annual income is an astonishing figure. TV and Film based services grossed nearly $17.03 billion in 2018. These figures are incredible, and the services are used worldwide. With all this money, they put some back into themselves, and create original properties. More often than not they aren’t bad. Some are actually excellent.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and to a limited degree, Disney+ even though it’s still in its infancy. These companies all produce some fantastic content, whether they be original series, or movies, their quality is unavoidable. Some aren’t great, but in recent years, excluding a few undesirables, streaming services have tremendously increased the production value, celebrity draw, and overall quality of their work.
Films and television from streaming services have been nominated for big awards before, but nothing of note, other than maybe Roma, a foreign film which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including best picture. Roma was definitely not something all audiences could appreciate though, so in the last 2 years since, these platforms have really stepped up.
Netflix gave us shows like Narcos, Mindhunter, and Stranger Things’ incredible third season. Netflix also produced some spectacular original films like The Irishman, Marriage Story, and El Camino: a Breaking Bad Movie. Hulu produced some great content, like their great TV shows with the likes of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Path, 11.22.63 and more, and Amazon also had some really good things this year as well, with their series The Boys, The Man in the High Castle, Bosch, and Mozart in the Jungle.
With all this said, these companies are obviously putting forth some considerable effort, and for people like Steven Speilberg to say things like “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie… I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for an Academy Award nomination.” Which is a statement I strongly disagree with.
Film is film, no matter what platform it’s distributed on. If a movie is great, it deserves recognition. Platforms like the aforementioned Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon etc. are all companies who’ve severely increased the quality of content they produce, and they deserve to be treated as such. They are a production company, and what they produce has consistently improved.