Amazon’s Oscar nomination for best picture is a first for a streaming service


Amazon’s "Manchester by the Sea" landed an Oscar nomination for best picture today, making Amazon the first streaming service to earn the honor.

As Variety points out, the nomination comes almost one year after Amazon made headlines by bidding a whopping $10 million for the rights to the film.

In all, "Manchester by the Sea" scored six nominations including a best actor nod for Casey Affleck and best director nod for Kenneth Lonergan. According to Box Office Mojo, the film has grossed nearly $39 million at the U.S. box office.

"Manchester by the Sea" is scheduled to show up on Amazon Prime Video in spring 2017 and its Oscar nomination could help drive subscribers to the platform.

As Amazon is often portrayed as the primary nemesis of Netflix in the SVOD service wars, Amazon getting a best picture nomination before Netflix could be viewed a bit of a ding to Netflix. After all, Netflix has also sunk a good portion of its content budget into producing and securing rights for films.

But, as Variety points out again, it’s worth noting that Amazon films like "Manchester by the Sea" enjoy more traditional theatrical releases while Netflix’s films usually only show on the SVOD’s platform, a factor that could affect the Academy’s decisions.

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The Oscar nominations for Manchester by the Sea arrive after the film received several similar nominations at this year’s Golden Globes. Affleck won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama.

Similar to the audience growth that can be attributed to the prestige of an Oscar nod, the Golden Globes similarly can help raise the profile of both films and original series, a large component in the strategies of both Amazon and Netflix.

While Netflix only managed five Golden Globe nominations this year—compared to 2014 when "House of Cards" managed four nominations on its own—the SVOD did walk away with a best drama series win for "The Crown."