Netflix is having a good year at the Golden Globes. Along with four Best Picture nominations, the streaming service also snagged 30 nominations in TV and film. In less than a decade, Netflix is dominating an industry that once scoffed at it.
No one comes close to Netflix. The streaming service earned 34 nominations, 17 in different film categories and 17 for different television shows. To be blunt, the Golden Globes don’t really matter. They act as a good predecessor of what may end up being nominated at the Oscars, but the absence of every major network — Fox, NBC, CBS, and ABC — is questionable. What the Golden Globe nominations do represent is how far the company has come as a content powerhouse. Netflix emerging as the top contender in both television and film categories is staggering considering that up until six years ago, it wasn’t making original television series or films.
Netflix started developing its own Originals by 2013. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Hemlock Grove became new reasons to subscribe. Hemlock Grove faded quickly into the back of people’s minds, but House of Cards and Orange is the New Black proved that Netflix could be more than just a service for carrying other beloved shows. Netflix could make its own.
“A lot of nominated shows are on Netflix this year,” Amy Poehler said during the 2014 Golden Globes monologue. “House of Cards, Orange is the New Black. Enjoy it while it lasts, Netflix, ‘cause you’re not going to be feeling so smug in a couple of years when Snapchat is up here accepting Best Drama.”
Netflix was nominated for six Golden Globes that year, including Best Drama for House of Cards. By 2015, that number went up to seven. Impressive, but nowhere close to the 34 nominations the company received today. Part of that has to do with Netflix’s early entry into original television programming, but waiting until later to get into original film. Cary Fukunaga directed the first Netflix Original film — Beasts of No Nation. The movie was released in October 2015, and earned a number of award show wins in 2016.
Netflix has surpassed people’s expectations of what Netflix could be. It’s the biggest entertainment streaming platform around the world and garners more awards attention every year. Netflix is also, however, one of the biggest spenders in Hollywood. The company had a content budget of $15 billion this year — more than nearly every other entertainment company. Netflix has increased its content budget by nearly 35 percent every year since 2015.
Not all of it is quality; the mediocrity of Netflix films and TV shows has become a notable opinion among critics. But spending more than competitors, and picking up movies that other companies don’t want to take a chance on — including picking up Martin Scorsese’s $160 million Irishman — helps Netflix stay in the race.
Netflix has arrived. There aren’t jokes about the streaming service being a wild card in Hollywood anymore; it’s the company to beat. Netflix is leaning heavily into the world of prestige film, licensing iconic theaters in New York and Los Angeles, and working with some of the best directors in the industry. Even CEO Reed Hastings acknowledged that Netflix is different from its competitors in a recent investors call. Hastings argued that if streaming is a whole new world, the company’s uniqueness is “really about our movie slate more than anything else.”
Snapchat may not have earned a Best Picture nomination, like Poehler predicted, but Netflix helped birth an age of streaming that now encapsulates Disney and Apple TV Plus — the latter of which also just received its first Golden Globe nominations.