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Podcast: Netflix Wins Even When It Loses, Oscar Edition

Netflix had a very good Oscar season. Its most celebrated awards contender, Roma, from Alfonso Cuaron, picked up three major Oscars – for best foreign language film, directing and cinematography” – and a documentary short, Period. End of Sentence., won another. Not bad, and the best-ever showing by a streaming-video company.

But Netflix didn’t win the big prize, Best Picture, despite a lavish awards campaign. Roma lost to Green Book, the kind of conventional movie the Motion Picture Academy has long rewarded, even as the winner skated past several controversies and glossed over substantive issues to provide audiences with a feel-good outcome.

Regardless, in my latest episode of the Bloom in Tech podcast, I suggest that Netflix won again, even as it was losing. It’s true that Netflix’s success continues to scare Hollywood’s old guard. After the Oscars finished last week, word leaked out that Steven Spielberg and others – as happened with the Cannes Film Festival and may happen with the Venice Film Festival – may seek ways to limit streaming sites’ ability to participate in the future.

That sort of revanchist exercise \ feels a lot like closing the barn door after the horse has not only gotten out, but run off to the next county. Then again, this is Hollywood, and its old guard remains staunchly protective of a certain way of doing things, as well its own fading perks and prerogatives.

In this episode, I explain why none of that will matter as Netflix continues to turn Hollywood upside down, using the Oscar awards season to do in the movie business what it already has largely accomplished in television. Remember House of Cards when it first arrived? This is like that.

You can listen to this Bloom in Tech episode on Anchor, where it’s hosted and syndicated. It’s also generally available on all the big audio outlets and several smaller ones, including iTunes,  Spotify (which just bought Anchor, but don’t ask me how that’s going to work), Google PodcastsBreakerRadioPublicOvercastCastboxPocket Casts, and Podbean. Please share, rate and review if you like what we’re doing. It really helps.