Last year, Amazon’s streaming video service received a grand total of zero Emmy nominations, compared with 31 for Netflix.
This year, Amazon (AMZN) topped the award tally of its streaming rival by taking home five Emmy statues despite having roughly one-third of the number of nominations Netflix (NFLX) did. Netflix won four Emmys last night after being nominated for 34 awards, while Amazon only received a dozen nominations, but still walked away the biggest winner among the streaming services.
Amazon’s biggest wins came last night at the Primetime Emmy Awards, where actor Jeffrey Tambor won an Emmy for his lead comedy role in the series “Transparent.” The show, which is produced by Amazon and streamed online, also won an Emmy for director Jill Soloway. Amazon’s other three awards — all from “Transparent,” including a win for guest actor Bradley Whitford — had been handed out a week earlier at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys.
Meanwhile, this year’s Emmys represented a step back for Netflix, at least in terms of the number of statues the popular streaming service took home. Last year, Netflix wrangled seven awards — all of them handed out at the Creative Arts Emmys — but the service did manage to win at least one of its five awards this year on the big stage last night, with “Orange Is the New Black” cast member Uzo Aduba winning for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Aduba — who won a guest actress Emmy last year — gave an emotional acceptance speech that marked the high point of the evening for Netflix.
Both Amazon and Netflix ultimately lost out in the category for Outstanding Comedy Series, with “Transparent” and Netflix’s popular freshman series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” losing out to the scathing political satire of HBO’s “Veep.” The win by “Veep” actually made history by ending the five-year winning streak of ABC’s (DIS) “Modern Family.”
Overall, it was a huge night for HBO, which owned by Time Warner (TWX), as the premium cable network led the TV pack with a whopping 43 Emmy wins after scoring triple the number of nominations of its nearest competitors (126 Emmy noms for HBO, compared to 42 for ABC). The Emmy runner-up to HBO was NBC (CMCSA), which won 12 statues — the same number taken home by the HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which won for best drama series and set a record for the most Emmys awarded to any series in one year.
Still, the Emmy dominance of a network like HBO may not be read as a complete win for the traditional television model. The network’s standalone streaming service, HBO Now, is helping to blur the line between traditional network television and streaming online content at a time when streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix are aiming to hear their shows’ names called out on Emmy night more and more every year.