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It took Netflix just five years to become king of the Emmy hill. The streaming service has ended HBO’s 17-year dominance as the most-nominated network. In 2018, Netflix landed 112 Emmy nominations, just a hair over HBO’s 108.
Netflix’s rise has been staggering. Last year, the platform landed 91 nominations, 20 behind HBO’s 111. That was up from 54 nominations in 2016 and 34 in 2015. Up until last year, Netflix had garnered a total of 225 nominations (and 43 wins), which means this year’s tally is nearly half of that.
HBO - Solace - Netflix - All-time - Record
If HBO has any solace, it’s that Netflix hasn’t yet beat its all-time record: 126 nominations in 2015, which remains the best showing ever for a network.
Pundits saw this coming, thanks to Netflix’s sheer volume. The difference between Netflix’s and HBO’s output has been a hot topic of conversation this week, as newly minted WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey infamously warned HBO staffers at a town hall meeting that they needed to broaden out and grow — fast. Although Stankey never mentioned Netflix by name, the implication was clear: To survive, he believes HBO needs to act more like Netflix.
Course - Backlash - Critics - HBO - Brand
Of course, that triggered a backlash, particularly among critics, who fear that HBO will dilute its brand by trying to be all things to all people. The pay cable network’s brand is quality, and that’s partly why Emmy nominations have been so important to HBO over the years — it was an effective branding tool to remind consumers why they subscribe.
Nonetheless, industry pundits note that HBO isn’t used to so much competition — and that it needs a budget infusion and more programming at-bats in order to stay relevant. The fact that HBO has now fallen behind Netflix in the Emmy nomination tally — even when Netflix’s brand is less about quality, and...
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