There is only one day until the Emmys now. Like the Grammy is to music and the Tony is to theatre: the Emmy is the most prestigious award that television can receive. Tomorrow will mark the 68th Primetime Emmy Award ceremony and as well as an award show, it is a celebration of the best of the small screen. Except, do people still use small screens?
I think that we can all agree that I spend a large amount of time watching and talking about television so maybe you’ll be surprised to hear that I don’t actually own one.
As a university student, it’s not that strange that I don’t have a physical TV. I have Netflix and Amazon Prime and beyond that, there are plenty of sites where you’re able to stream a world of different programmes. Almost all of my TV viewing is through my laptop and occasionally, my phone.
My family recently cancelled their subscription to Sky; the BBC just restricted their online content to those with TV licenses; and it just feels like a physical TV or at least, a cable subscription, isn’t worth it.
Major television networks aren’t the biggest fans of Netflix at the moment for a variety of reasons but it’s largely because they’re so rich. Netflix can afford to throw money at creators and they produce fantastic content, but normal TV networks can’t compete. The landscape of television viewing is shifting in a way that nobody could have imagined at the time of the first Emmy ceremony in 1949.
I still look at the networks that shows are on and pass judgement based on that: I love The CW; Freeform produces the content that I continue to hate-watch; Showtime is intense and brilliant etc.
Networks are established distributors of television but nobody can say that streaming services aren’t valid when they are easily at the same level now. This year, Netflix has the third largest number of separate nominations (17) and Amazon is in a four-way tie at seventh (with 6 nominations).
I am not good with change but I have embraced online television: it’s convenient, it feels more interactive and it seems more reflective of where our society is right now. Do I want traditional television to die? Hell, no. Do I think that in another 68 years, the Emmys are going to be very different? Of course. It’s just a question of whether networks can adapt.
Do you still watch television? How much of your viewing is online? Do you believe that TV will transfer entirely to digital platforms? Let me know in the comments.