Oscars 2023: Streaming giants take a back seat

The 95th Oscars are set to be held this Sunday, March 12, 2023 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA. While streamers such as Netflix, Apple, and Amazon have garnered 19 nominations this year (down from 37 in 2022), traditional Hollywood studios have reclaimed center stage for Hollywood’s biggest night. Here's how we got here and why the decline in streaming nominations may not seem so dire as it looks.

Watch: Yahoo Finance Live previews Hollywoods biggest night here.

Video Transcript


ALEXANDRA CANAL: The 2023 Oscars is looking a bit different this year, as streaming giants come up short, and the focus shifts once again to traditional Hollywood studios. Here's how we got here and why the decline in streaming nominations might not be as dire as it looks.

Streamers garnered about half the amount of nominations in 2023 compared to 2022, with the big three Netflix, Apple, and Amazon receiving just 19 nods in total versus last year's 37. Netflix was the most nominated of the bunch, with the 16 total nods, followed by Apple with two, and Amazon with just one. Keep in mind, Apple actually walked away with Best Picture in 2022 Thanks to "CODA."

At the time, the win was categorized as a huge breakthrough moment for streamers. And it seems like, finally, the lines between traditional film studios and streaming exclusives had been blurred.

But it seems like the Academy isn't giving in that easily. In fact, streamers were completely shut out of popular categories this year like Best Director. Remember, Jane Campion won in 2022 for Netflix's "Power of the Dog." Not only that, but the number of nominations has been on a steady downward trend in recent years.

Still, there's one big question to ask. Does this all matter? Oscar viewership has struggled, especially as the top moments usually end up on Twitter or YouTube relatively quickly. According to Nielsen, 2022's Academy Awards drew in 16.6 million viewers. That was actually up 58% from 2021's record low of 10.5 million but still the second worst viewership number in the show's 94-year history.

And let's take a movie like "Knives Out, Glass Onion" for example, only one Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, but still the fourth most watched Netflix original of all time, with nearly 280,000,000 hours viewed in its first 28 days on the platform. That's a pretty strong showing for a film not rolling in nominations.

- This is truly delightful.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Or what about "Top Gun, Maverick," "Avatar, The Way of Water," two of the highest grossing films in 2022 and yet nominated just two and four times, respectively.

- Just want to manage expectations.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: You see, before streaming, there were obvious boosts in box office receipts after a film was nominated or won an Oscar. But with all the changes in media, it's hard to really judge the, quote, unquote, "payout" of an Oscar win especially for streamers, which care most about subscribers.

So even though streaming platforms may not be enjoying the same level of Oscar attention as they received in the past, it doesn't mean they don't have just as much, if not more visibility, with hundreds of millions of paying users at their fingertips.

That being said, the Oscars is the biggest awards show stage of them all, with many industry watchers adamant that Academy Award wins and nominations do still matter. It just might not matter as much to the streamers, which are way more focused on subscribers and profitability than Oscar statuettes.