Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has been giving Hollywood a run for its money this year.
For the 2018 Emmys, Netflix tied with HBO for the most wins. Both companies took home 23 Emmys, which ended HBO's 16-year streak as the top winner of the night. The amazing thing is that Netflix only jumped into original content five years ago -- and it's already beating the industry's top legacy companies.
But Netflix will be the first to admit that its success comes down to the creators it hires. And after Netflix's success over the past few years with Stranger Things and other projects, it hasn't had to work hard to find these creators; the creators are coming to Netflix. And Hollywood is left scratching its head.
So, why are creators flocking to Netflix? It comes down to three big advantages.
1. Netflix is the best way to get your content seen
It's no secret that Netflix has become the go-to place for digital natives and their parents to get their video content. The platform now has over 137 million global subscribers, up about seven million sequentially. To put it simply, Netflix is the best platform for creators who "want their content seen," Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos said on the earnings call.
Not only can your content be seen on Netflix, but it also has a chance of becoming an overnight phenomenon. In August, Netflix released the 99-minute rom-com To All The Boys I've Loved Before to near universal praise that launched the main cast members into superstardom. In less than three months, the movie has already become one of the platform's most viewed original films ever. Plus, Netflix has already ordered a sequel. If that isn't the dream scenario for a creator, then I don't know what is.
2. Netflix doesn't babysit its creators
No content creator wants a team of executives telling them how to do their job. That's why Netflix says it makes a pointed effort to give creators free reign. But Netflix can do so with confidence because it only hires people that it feels can handle projects on their own.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos summed this strategy up nicely on the fourth-quarter earnings call: "Hire great people, give them the resources to make great content and get out of their way."
Netflix's Stranger Things is a perfect example of this. The 80s-inspired sci-fi series was rejected by 15 to 20 networks, the creators of the show told Rolling Stone magazine. A lot of the executives they pitched the show to didn't understand it or didn't like that the story revolved around kids. But when the creators brought the show to Netflix, the company fully supported their original vision and didn't try to tamper with it to make it more "marketable."
3. Netflix is becoming the best way to win an Emmy
While creating shows isn't about winning awards, it certainly doesn't hurt to bring home an Emmy -- or an Oscar. And Netflix's shows and films can be nominated for both. In fact, this year, Netflix had 112 Emmy nominations spread out across 40 shows -- more than any network this year.
And the best news for content creators is that Netflix will help you get your show or film nominated. The company said it spent a chunk of its 2018 $2 billion marketing budget on award campaigns. And that paid off with its 23 Emmy wins. Award campaigns are expensive and time-consuming, so this type of help is huge for creators and can launch their careers to the next level.
As you can see, Netflix has created a safe haven for content creators away from Hollywood. These creators are being given the freedom and resources to experiment and create on a platform with 137 million subscribers. And if the finished product is good enough, Netflix might just help you take home an Emmy. When you put it like that, it's easy to see why content creators are leaping into Netflix's arms.