Who Won Awards season? Streaming.

How the Oscars, BAFTAs, and everything in between embraced streaming… and what that means for your digital content business.

Who Won 2024 Awards season? Streaming.

By Max Newfield | March 7, 2024

How the Oscars, BAFTAs, and everything in between embraced streaming… and what that means for your digital content business.

When the Oscar for Best Picture is handed out sometime late Sunday night (most likely to Oppenheimer, right?) it will signal an end to the 2023 awards season.

But awards shows are a year-round business. From books to podcasts and even to subreddits, the Oscars – and an array of other industry awards – remain an indelible part of pop culture discussion and obsession.

So how and why are people watching these shows? And what does that mean for your streaming strategy? Even if you don’t have a decades-old industry guild award to give out, there still must be some learnings to draw from awards season fervor.

How to Watch the Oscars

For all the streaming advancements of the last decade, the easiest way to watch Hollywood’s biggest night remains the OTA broadcast. Sometime before 7:00 pm EDT just point your digital antenna at your strongest ABC signal and settle in for a night of glitz, glamor, and golden trophies.

If you want to get slightly more technical with it (and we think you should), stream the broadcast on any internet TV provider or watch on ABC.com or the ABC app.

Now, those are the Academy approved ways to watch the Oscars.

But even a cursory search reveals an entire world of awards fans sharing resources to follow along in real time. One blog rounds up VPN resources for global Oscars watchers. Another subreddit directs readers to streams for EVERY awards show for the past several years.

Will all those links be as reliable and content owner approved as the official ABC stream? No.

But do they indicate demand for the Oscars broadcast? Absolutely.

This is a great reminder that the audience will always take the path of least resistance to viewing your product. And when a shifting gray market web of shared links is cheaper than a cable subscription, a non-zero number of viewers will opt for that option instead.

The Oscars broadcast – like the Grammys, the Emmys, and many other award shows – is free to watch within the United States so perhaps the link sharing comes down to an international distribution rights issue.

If you have content you want to take global but don’t know how to do it, schedule a Matchpoint demonstration to find out how our Rightsline integration and one-click delivery can help you reach broader audiences.

New Adventures in Awards Show Streaming

Committed Oscars watchers will know that award season takes months, and there are many, many other shows to watch if you want to win your Oscars party ballot.

Those shows, all airing in the leadup to Hollywood’s biggest night, have employed fascinating strategies in recent years to build their audience. Shows like the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, the British Academy Film Awards, and even the Golden Globes have sought to make their broadcasts as accessible as possible to drive cultural conversations around their events.

The SAG Awards, once the longtime purview of TNT, have moved to Netflix to tap into an audience 260 million subscribers strong. After a few years of tape delayed events, the show aired live once again as part of Netflix’s ongoing experiments with live events.

The Screen Actors Guild represents the single largest voting body in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the SAG Awards are increasingly predictive of who will win the acting Oscars. Moving to a streaming platform with the single largest global audience, as well as moving the event slightly earlier in the voting season, ensures this show will tap into the zeitgeist right when most people start following the Oscars horse race.

Across the pond, the BAFTAs have done everything short of knocking on viewer’s doors to insert themselves into the awards conversation. Alongside huge social pushes, the BAFTAs had a grid that directed viewers across nearly every continent to their most accessible broadcast for both the red carpet and the official ceremony. As the Academy makes changes to their membership to allow for a larger international contingent, perhaps this is a strategy to reach a SAG-level amount of influence on Oscars night.

And most notably this awards season, the recently troubled Golden Globes were resurrected as part of a brand push for Paramount+. Did awards season need yet another glam-fest on the airwaves? Who’s to say.

But what is for certain is that CBS’s multi-platform approach – the show aired live on CBS and Paramount+ with a tape-delayed version posted soon after the ceremony ended – was a huge success. The revamped Golden Globes delivered 10 million viewers across all platforms in the first 24 hours in addition to 30 billion potential social impressions, dominating the cultural conversation for well beyond the first day.

How to Win Big in the Coming Year

So what should we take away from the 2024 Oscars season, besides red carpet style inspiration? After all, few if any of us have an award to hand out to A-lister celebrities anytime soon.

First of all, listen to your audience. Poke around in some subreddits, read a few blogs, and see how your potential viewers want to interact with the content you’re offering. And once people are talking about you, take after the BAFTAs and the Globes and feed that fire with every piece of social tinder you have.

Then, once you understand your audience, use those insights to meet them where and when they want to be reached. You should make it so easy to view your content that your audience wouldn’t dream of watching it any other way.

Finally, establish your KPIs, measure performance, then refine your strategy. Do you want to reach a huge audience like the SAGs? Do you want to own the social conversation like the Globes? Or are you chasing your industry’s highest honor like so many Oscar campaigners this year? No matter what, there’s a streaming model that can get you to your goals… a few acceptance speeches you should practice along the way.

Let’s Talk

If you want to learn about the quickest and easiest way to find new audiences for your content, schedule a demo and learn about Matchpoint’s innovative, end-to-end OTT solution.

Afterall, we did help Bob Ross Inc. and American Public Television rack up 4.7 BILLION views for the Bob Ross Channel

Explore Matchpoint™

Matchpoint is the technology behind Cineverse graphic.
Ready to see Matchpoint in action?
From Screen to Stream!