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With Emmy Win, Netflix Is Changing the Face of Hollywood

By: Minyanville
Posted: 9/24/2013 11:20:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: AMCX;DIS;NFLX

Editor's Note: This content was originally published on Benzinga.com by Jim Probasco.

Remember when Netflix ( NFLX ) was little more than an online video rental store?

Times have changed. Sunday they changed some more as the video-rental plus streaming-video service won a best-director Emmy for David Fincher of House of Cards .

From a convenient way to rent DVDs to even more convenient Internet streaming of content to Emmy-winning production company, all in the space of 16 years. As the Wall Street Journal said, if Hollywood wasn't taking Netflix seriously before, it is now.

Sunday's award marked the first Emmy in a major category for an online video distributor. This is as important to the Emmys as it is to Netflix. With the addition of companies like Netflix to the mix, along with cable and traditional network television, some of the rules have changed.

Netflix, for example, refuses to reveal viewership numbers. Viewership numbers drive ratings and ratings are the standard by which the entertainment medium is measured. Netflix said it doesn't have to provide viewer numbers because it measures success by its number of subscribers, according to Forbes . Netflix doesn't care what those subscribers are watching. Perhaps, more accurately, it doesn't care to tell you.

The fact that it won an Emmy, however, is something Netflix does want you to know. It also wants writers, producers, and top-tier actors to know this as well. Winning an Emmy brings prestige and prestige catches the interest of those Hollywood top guns who will make Netflix even more prestigious over time, according to The Wall Street Journal.

As Netflix competes and helps set a higher performance bar in the industry, traditional broadcast television and cable have found they have to continue to rise to the occasion. And rise they have.

Sunday cable network brand AMC ( AMCX ) won the best drama award for the first time for Breaking Bad . In addition, Anna Gunn received an Emmy for best supporting actor for her role in the show. The creator of Breaking Bad , Vince Gilligan, gave a nod to the competition, including streaming providers like Netflix by saying that if it wasn't for services like Netflix; Breaking Bad wouldn't have lasted past the second season, according to The Associated Press .

Mostly, the arrival of entities like Netflix has made achievement awards like the Emmys infinitely more unpredictable. Emmy show host, Neil Patrick Harris said, at one point, "Nobody in America is winning their office pool."

While traditional broadcast networks had their share of victories with Disney ( DIS ) owned ABC's Modern Family winning "Best Comedy" for the fourth year in a row, for example, it cannot be denied that the competition has ramped up.

This fact was illustrated by the fact that for the second year in a row no traditional broadcast network was nominated in the best-drama category.

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