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Will Emmy Nominations (And Possible Awards) Boost Netflix?

August 30, 2015 8:25 pm
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Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) set a new record when it obtained 34 Emmy nominations — nearly three times as many as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Consumers will be watching to see how Netflix performs when the awards are handed out in just a few weeks. Will the results help the streaming video service attract more subscribers, or is this nothing more than good PR?

“How many are really the Emmys versus the technical Emmys?” Albert Fried & Company Director of Research Rich Tullo questioned. “Netflix gets a lot of technical Emmys for streaming, technology and other things. [That event is] held the week prior and it’s not really an Emmy.”

Tullo told Benzinga that the Best Actor (“Outstanding Lead Actor/Actress”) and Best Show (“Outstanding Drama Series”) are the “awards of importance.”

“Those are the ones that work,” he said. “Thirty-four [nominations] is a big number. That’ll probably move them up to the AMC range. It’s good marketing. It’s a trailing indicator for where a show is.”

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‘Prestige Factor’

Rentrak Corporation (NASDAQ: RENT) Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Benzinga that there is a “prestige factor” that goes along with the major award shows (Emmys, Grammys and Oscars).

“People say they don’t really care about ’em until they get a nomination, then they’re really happy,” said Dergarabedian. “It’s a direct reflection of the creative freedom that they allow their content producers/providers, meaning people are being rewarded for their creativity, edginess [and] the freshness of a lot of this content.”

Dergarabedian said that with shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black,” TV producers “certainly begin to make [their] mark on the creative side of the ledger.”

“The Emmy nominations are a reflection of that,” Dergarabedian added. “And that’s why HBO has so many nominations. They can pretty much do whatever they want. You go back to a show like ‘Oz’ that pushed the envelope in so many ways. The list goes on and on. The Netflix content reminds me a lot of HBO by having the unfettered freedom to express the thoughts and ideas and the vision that these producers have.”

Dergarabedian believes that is something the “Emmy voting body will respond to.” He said that small screen content has been “incredibly strong” and that it’s hard to choose a winner out of “so much great content.”

“If you’re a fledgling content provider, you have to grab onto any kind of positive press about your content that you can,” Dergarabedian added. “You need to grab onto that and create a cumulative body of work that is reflective of some of the best content around or represents some of the best content available. It may not affect your stock price on the same day as the nomination.”

If Netflix continues to rack up nominations (and actual awards), this could help the company over time.

“Even in the minds of investors…they keep hearing about the content of Netflix resonating with critics and peer groups alike,” Dergarabedian concluded. “There’s no downside to this. Whether or not it immediately affects the stock price, it’s hard to say. But there’s no downside.”

The 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on Fox on Sunday, September 20.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

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