Amazon and Netflix yesterday collected the first Academy Awards for streaming services, sharing four gold statuettes between them at this year's Oscars.
Amazon Studios bagged a Best Actor trophy for Casey Affleck's portrayal of a grieving man in "Manchester by the Sea". Bought by Amazon for $10 million at the Sundance film festival, the movie also won Best Original Screenplay. It has earned $46.8 million at domestic theaters, and is set to appear later this year on Amazon's Prime Video service.
Amazon also gained another accolade for Best Foreign Language Film with Iranian drama "The Salesman," which the company distributed in the United States and Canada.
Netflix won Best Documentary in the short-subject category for 40-minute film "The White Helmets", which followed volunteer rescue workers in war-torn Syria. The Netflix Original was directed by Orlando von Einsiedel.
According to one former Wall Street analyst, Apple's first Academy Award is not too far away either. Venture capitalist and tech ponderer Gene Munster predicted on Friday that Apple will win an Oscar in five years.
"We think Apple will win an Oscar in the next five years," Munster wrote in a research note issued by his company, Loup Ventures. "That's how long it will take for Apple to scale its original content spend from less than $200 million today to $5-7 billion."
According to Munster, Apple's moves towards making original content to drive user engagement with its ecosystem will turn increasingly towards movies and TV series, as it aims to boost revenues to its Services division, which includes Apple Music and iTunes.
Apple has already unveiled plans to launch two unscripted series on Apple Music, "Planet of the Apps", which shares a format similar to talent-based reality show The Voice and Shark Tank, and "Carpool Karaoke", based on the popular James Corden segment from The Late Late Show. In addition, Apple is also working on "Vital Signs", a dark semi-autobiographical drama starring Dr. Dre, which will also be used to promote Apple Music.