Oscar-Nominated Films Receive Huge Streaming Bump

By the time The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its nominations for Oscar, many people need help remembering the films and performances that are nominated.  

Streaming hasn’t only changed the way consumers watch TV and movies, it’s also changed the way that films are distributed and released post-theatrical run. 

Gone are the days of a tidy Oscar-worthy film season that starts sometime in late October and ends promptly on Christmas Day. 

The Oscar Viewership Bump. This image shows how films including Triangle of Sadness, All Quiet on the Western Front, Tar, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, The Banshees of Inisherin, and Top Gun: Maverick all experienced a huge bump in viewership after being nominated for an Academy Award.

For example, Everything Everywhere All at Once debuted at SXSW in March of 2022 and received a wide theatrical release on April 8, 2022. 

Top Gun: Maverick famously postponed during the pandemic at the request of Tom Cruise was widely released May 27, 2022. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic was released right in the middle of the summer blockbuster season – June 24, 2022. 

Typically, movies like these would be forgotten come Oscar season, especially a smaller, independent film like Everything Everywhere All at Once, but streaming helps keep contenders top of mind. With films traveling from streaming platform to streaming platform throughout the year, every time one is re-released, it’s news especially in the year after its theatrical release. 

It’s interesting to note, two smaller films with much quieter releases – Triangle of Sadness and Netflix’s  All Quiet on the Western Front – saw 3X the engagement after their nominations, compared to previous years’ average 2X spike seen for nominated films. 

Why Oscars Matters

When it comes to the Best Picture race, an Oscar nomination goes a long way to bumping a film’s viewership numbers. In fact, after this year’s nominees were announced, the films available on SVOD, AVOD, and TVOD experienced twice the engagement after its nomination. 

Why? In a word, prestige. 

Oscar-nominated movies attract new viewers who are eager to be up-to-speed before the winners are announced so they can be part of the wider cultural conversation. 

While there will always be film aficionados who spend their winter breaks watching every Oscar hopeful, streaming offers a more casual viewer a way to get caught up and helps films that might not have had a fighting chance vie for Oscar glory.