Top streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and HBO didn’t fare as well as in previous years at last night’s Golden Globes. Despite entering the race with 14 nominations, HBO – which streams for cord cutters via HBO NOW and various internet TV services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now – walked away without a single win. Meanwhile, Netflix and Amazon didn’t rack up all that many wins either, thanks to fewer noms going in. But they did at least leave with trophies, thanks to Netflix’s “The Crown” and Amazon’s “Goliath” and “Manchester by the Sea.”
The latter was a milestone for Amazon Studios. Casey Affleck’s best actor win for “Manchester by the Sea” represents the first time Amazon has earned a Golden Globe for a feature film. But this award isn’t another nod towards Amazon’s ability to produce great original programming. Instead, Amazon won the rights to stream the movie by outbidding Sony, Universal, Fox Searchlight, and Lionsgate at this year’s Sundance.
The move was the latest example of online streaming services taking aim at traditional studios by outbidding them on major film deals – something that Netflix has also recently done with the $7 million deal for Paul Rudd’s “The Fundamentals of Caring” and Ellen Page’s “Tallulah,” both of which have been in heavy rotation in the featured position at the top of Netflix’s user interface.
Amazon started off Sunday night with five nominations for its TV series out of its total 11 nominations, including those for past winners “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Transparent” and their leads. But the service won for its legal drama “Goliath,” where Billy Bob Thornton scored best actor.
It also won a little exposure, too, as CEO Jeff Bezos graced the Hollywood ceremony and was even the subject of a joke by host Jimmy Fallon. The comedian had quipped, “[Bezos] actually arrived yesterday, but there was no one around to sign for him.”
Netflix, on the other hand, entered the Globes while having an off-year of sorts. The top streaming service had only received five TV nominations – the lowest number since entering the race three years ago.
That’s an interesting turn of events, especially given that Netflix’s investment in its original content business has only increased year-over-year, with the company now promising to spend $6 billion on originals this year, up from $5 billion in 2016.
By while the dollar amounts may have increased, not all the content Netflix spits out these days is considered award show fodder. For example, the family-friendly reboot “Fuller House” and the “Gilmore Girls” revival are two of the most popular Netflix shows, but they’re more fan service and nostalgia baiting, rather than the sort of thing that would earn an award show nod.
That being said, Netflix did walk away from Sunday night’s event with two Golden Globes for its series “The Crown,” which won both best drama and best actress (Claire Foy). The series beat out HBO’s “Westworld” and “Game of Thrones,” NBC’s “This is Us,” and another popular Netflix show, “Stranger Things.”
Netflix (Winona Ryder, “Stranger Things”) and HBO (Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”) also lost to “The Crown” in the best actress category.
Hulu wasn’t nominated for any of its TV series this year.
In terms of TV, cable TV network FX scored on Sunday, with the most wins in the category.
Combined with its fawning over Hollywood’s love letter to itself “La La Land,” the Globes’ cooling on streaming services in favor of traditional studios this year felt like something of an attempt to even the playing field between the old and the new. But with the services’ continued funding of their own originals and plans to bid against the studio giants for rights to major movies, you can expect they’ll be present at next year’s Globes, too.