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Streaming Services Win Big at the Oscars

Michael Williams, Digital Media Intern, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

The 89th Academy Awards will surely be one to remember. Viewers were left guessing until the very end when “Moonlight” was announced as the best picture winner, seconds after “La La Land” was mistakenly crowned victor. Hijinks aside, two companies made history this year.

Amazon and Netflix — both Consumer Technology Association (CTA) members — won the first Oscars for streaming services. Amazon, nominated for seven awards, went home with three Oscars, with “Manchester by the Sea” picking up best original screenplay and best actor for Casey Affleck. Iranian drama “The Salesman” was named best foreign language film. Both “The Salesman” and “Manchester by the Sea” were distributed by Amazon Studios.

Netflix, meanwhile, was nominated for best documentary and twice for documentary short. “The White Helmets,” its documentary about Syrian rescue workers, was awarded best documentary short.      
Streaming aside, technology played pivotal roles in several nominated films. In “Lion,” the main character uses Google Earth to search for his missing family thousands of miles away. Even virtual reality found its way to the silver screen. “Pearl,” a Google Spotlight Story short, was the first VR headset-compatible film to be nominated.