Netflix’s Emmy win for its popular Web series “House of Cards” has challenged the Emmy tradition. The series earned a Best Director Emmy, a first time a major category award that has gone to an online video provider.
"For the first time, an Emmy in the Primetime telecast also was awarded to a program not seen on either broadcast or cable," said the Emmy organization in a statement.
The series has already been nominated for 14 primetime Emmy awards this year - which is a first in itself, but this is the first time any online-only platform has won a marquee Emmy that is accepted in front of the national broadcast audience.
Netflix outbid other companies back in 2011 to obtain rights to the original series. The company is on a path to follow premium networks, such as HBO and AMC, and become a destination for original shows as well as others' content.
Netflix has proven itself an extraordinarily nimble company. It has long been hailed as the future of video rental, as former rival Blockbuster went down in flames earlier this year due to the collapse of the brick-and-mortar video rental industry.
"This represents a new paradigm for the industry," said actor Kevin Spacey to the Los Angeles Times. "It shows that the academy has a modern, progressive streak.”
Spacey plays Sen. Francis Underwood in the series.
“More companies are going to step forward to do this kind of thing, so more shows will be produced, more actors will be hired, more work done…It's good for the economy as well," he said.
Netflix’s spot in the entertainment market highlights a shift in which consumers are moving away from paid cable services and saving bucks by subscribing to streaming services, known as cord cutting. TV services should beware of the next killer app for cable ditchers.
As for right now, cord cutting is nowhere near the existential threat it’s made out to be. Nielsen’s fourth-quarter cross-platform report counted more than 5 million "zero-TV" households in 2012, up from just over two million as recently as 2007. Those are small numbers. The TV household universe is approximately 110 million.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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