Apple eyes 2020 Emmys for its slate of original shows

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FireWire lands Apple its first Emmy.
Apple has its eyes on an Emmy.
Photo: The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has its eye on awards glory with its original video content, a new report claims. It suggests that Apple is looking to take on not only the likes of Amazon and Netflix, but also established studios.

By putting together a dedicated team with awards strategy experience, Apple is reportedly aiming to be in the running for Emmy awards as early as 2020.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is in the process of creating a team of people with awards strategy experience. It hired one person from Walt Disney’s television group in January. It is also looking for a “high-level candidate” to oversee the process.

The awards game

For those who don’t follow the entertainment industry, strategizing to win awards is a field in and of itself. Miramax pioneered the modern award campaign back in the 1990s, and it’s since been honed by others. It involves arranging screenings and other publicity events for the right people.

Netflix previously threw down the gauntlet in this area. Last year, it hired Lisa Taback, a strategist who helped movies like Moonlight and The King’s Speech to capture Oscar glory. Winning awards doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. However, the idea is that it serves as a good advertisement for companies. That is particularly true for relative newcomers like streaming services.

If Apple is serious about awards (specifically Academy Awards), it will also need to release its movie hopefuls in theaters. This does not have to be a wide release, but is more of a technicality to make the movies eligible for Oscars.

Bought and paid for

Bloomberg‘s report also makes passing mention to Apple’s strategy for distributing its shows. It writes that: “Apple will charge for some content, while other video will be free for Apple device users.” Previous reports had suggested that Apple’s video content would be given away for free.

More recently, however, it seemed likely that it would be tied into Apple’s premium streaming video service. We’re expecting to get a preview of these shows at Apple’s March 25 event.

Quite how the division between free content and paid content will be made isn’t clear. One approach that might make sense would be to give away the first episode of each series as a teaser.

Apple has spent upward of $1 billion on its original shows and other video content. For a list of the shows Apple has so far acquired, you can check out our handy guide.

Source: Bloomberg