Netflix On Awards Philosophy: It’s “A Way To Make Us A Home For Talent”

Jill Goldsmith

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Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Tuesday that the streamer’s army of nominations and awards — flowing freely this season — is a magnet for top talent and an insurance policy of sorts to attract A-listers in a cycle of prestige content to keep and attract viewers.

Every nod and statuette furthers the streamer’s “reputation of doing well for talent,” Sarandos said during a taped interview for investors discussing the company’s latest quarterly earnings. “Think of our awards work as a way to make us a home for talent.”

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The Irishman and Marriage Story pulled in numerous nominations and Sarandos noted a handful of high-profile stars in features on tap for 2020 including Mark Wahlberg in Spenser Confidential, Charlize Theron in The Old Guard and Chris Hemsworth in Out of the Fire.

Awards buzz also helps consumers focus on “what they want to watch,” Sarandos said.

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Sarandos and Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings emphasized that while Netflix’s subscriber growth in North America has slowed, it’s still growth, and that viewing hours per subscriber have increased — meaning people who already have the service are watching more.

In other words, Netflix spending $15 billion on content last year and an estimated $17 billion this year is worth it.

As in Q4, “We are trying to program our movies for every taste, every corner of the world [and] all genres,” Sarandos said. Being the “most nominated studio at the Oscar’s this year” has gone hand-in-hand with Netflix becoming “incredibly” and increasingly popular with members.

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