If there were any doubts that streaming services were having their big moment this year, the Golden Globes should put them to rest.
All three major streaming services — Amazon, Hulu and Netflix — were recognized among the list of nominees announced Thursday with an unprecedented 14 total nominations, the latest sign of how online TV is changing the television business.
Overall, Netflix dominated the TV network list with eight nominations, surpassing HBO and Starz, thanks to its series “Narcos” and “Orange Is the New Black.” That’s a significant elevation in rank from last year, when Netflix came in fourth with seven nominations. Netflix even locked in a film nomination this year for “Beasts of No Nation” actor Idris Elba.
Amazon tied FX with five nominations while rising television player Hulu, which has invested heavily in creating new shows, broke through with one nomination for its Jason Reitman comedy series “Casual.”
The awards underscore the rising popularity of streaming services with consumers and their ability to compete with studios and television networks in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Streaming services are grabbing the spotlight from traditional TV in much the same way that cable TV did in the early 2000s. Notably, even NBC, the network that holds the rights to broadcast the Golden Globes, didn’t snag a single nomination.
Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have invested heavily to expand their slate of original shows in a bid to make themselves desirable destinations for viewers and creative talent. Netflix alone will shell out $5 billion on original and acquired content next year.
Craig Erwich, Hulu’s head of content, said the awards validate the investment that Hulu and other new media outlets have been making in new programming.
“What proceeded all this is a tremendous amount of time and money by all these services in their programming,” Erwich told The Times. “Originals are really an important way to define a brand and are one of the best ways we can express and represent who we want to be as a service. That’s why we’re spending so much money on original programming. And you hope, a barometer of that success, is confirmation with award nominations.”
Four out of the six nominees in the comedy and musical category hailed from streaming services: Hulu’s “Casual,” Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Transparent,” and Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”
The impressive showing among the streaming services comes a day after Netflix surpassed awards kingpin HBO at a major contest for the first time. The Los Gatos, Calif., company overtook the premium network with its tally of SAG Awards nominations. Seattle-based Amazon also had two nominations for “Transparent.”
Amazon proved itself a major player in the television space when “Transparent” won the Golden Globe earlier this year for best TV series, musical or comedy and star Jeffrey Tambor won best actor.
The win not only marked Amazon’s first-ever Golden Globe award, but the Jill Soloway comedy also became the first online series to ever win a best series award — comedy or drama — at the annual awards show. The show returns this year, joined by fellow Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle.”
Amazon Studios head Roy Price said he is not surprised that the streaming business model is finding traction.
“The definition of TV has really changed over the last few years — it’s all about bringing customers exactly what they want to watch, when and how they want to watch it,” Price told The Times by email. “You no longer need to tune in to your favorite show at 8:30 p.m. and then wait until the next week for the following episode. The disruption in TV is really the natural result of consumers liking something and flocking to it.”
On the film side, Fox’s movie division once again led the pack among major studios with a dozen nominations, including best motion picture drama for “The Revenant.” “The Martian” was nominated in the comedy category.
Universal Pictures, with the help of “Trainwreck,” tied for eight nominations with the Weinstein Co., which got a boost from “Carol.”
Studios view awards recognition as an opportunity to draw renewed attention to their projects that, in turn, lead to more ticket sales.
Fox, for example, could get a boost with its string of Golden Globe nominations. The film studio, after taking a hit this summer with its “Fantastic Four” reboot, finished fourth in the domestic box-office race this year.