And The Emmy Goes To...
Despite losing the award to “Breaking Bad”, the show’s nomination set a precedent for all original TV programming that was to follow. Awards and accolades were no longer restricted to big broadcasters (ABC, CBS, NBC) and cable networks; online platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon proved they were viable and significant competitors.
With the influx of original programming, TV networks and streaming sites face a new challenge: How do we distinguish ourselves in the market? After Netflix’s historic nomination in 2012, the television industry has collectively dropped on all brand equity pillars. With an overcrowded playing field, consumers feel overwhelmed by choice and find it challenging to parse out competitors.
Though differentiating in this sea of sameness may prove challenging, there are ways to spotlight success stories. Every year the Primetime Emmy Awards recognize those who excel in primetime television programming, thus giving the American public an easy tool to gauge the haves from the have-nots. Despite falling victim to the negative brand equity trend from 2012 to 2016, Emmy winning providers have constantly outperformed big broadcast competitors and the TV category as a whole.
In 2016, HBO, FX, and Netflix were the dominating networks at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Programming such as “Game of Thrones” (HBO), “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX), “Making a Murderer” (Netflix), etc. place these non-traditional TV mediums in the leadership quadrant of the BAV powergrid model, while big broadcasters such as ABC, NBC, and CBS fall in the mass market category. So while both group of networks provide prime TV programming, there is a sharp divide between the two groups that both Emmy wins and the BAV model have outlined.
To further analyze the underlying difference between Emmy accoladed and more traditional broadcast networks, we looked at the leading traits the general US population attributed to the respective grouping of networks.
The two network groups share traits like leader, trustworthy, and original; however, Emmy awarded networks encompass more modern, performance driven traits, like high quality and visionary resulting in an essence that is current and consumer-centric.
ABC, CBS, and NBC are seen as more old-school, simple television sources with traits like traditional and reliable topping the list. So while this network grouping’s leadership in the TV sphere is undeniable, its lack of energized differentiation is reaffirmed by its top traits among the general population.
Moving forward, it’s important to keep in mind that the television landscape is in constant flux. To gain or retain Emmy status a network must constantly innovate, if not it runs the risk of falling into the homogenous pool of options.