The dominant online video streamer, Netflix, started 2018 with almost 118 million subscribers, went on to win its first feature-film Oscar, briefly surpassed Disney as the most valuable U.S. media company, lured the likes of superstar showrunners Shonda Rhimes, Kenya Barris and Ryan Murphy — not to mention Barack and Michelle Obama — and is expected to end the year with 146 million subscribers and a likely best picture Oscar nominee in “Roma.”
In a sign of how influential the giant streamer has become, it also got what every celebrity gets — a gentle mocking on “Saturday Night Live.” The sketch comedy show’s season-ending episode this month aired a fake ad highlighting Netflix’s enormous effort to produce as much content as possible.
“Our goal is the endless scroll. By the time you reach the bottom of our menu, there are new shows at the top,” explained the voice over.
For a dominating 12 months, Netflix has been named The Associated Press Entertainer of the Year, voted by members of the news cooperative.
“There’s been so much amazing entertainment this year, and we’re proud of the part we’ve played and humbled by this recognition from the AP,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said Thursday after being told of the honor.
“We are thrilled to be working with the best creators who have helped us to entertain the world with shows, films and specials from Hollywood, Mumbai, Madrid, Seoul, Berlin and everywhere in between.”
Netflix topped other candidates including Donald Glover, Ariana Grande, Bradley Cooper, and Michelle Obama, among others. Previous AP Entertainer of the Year winners has included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adele, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey and Betty White.
Netflix movies, specials and shows were all over popular culture this year, including “The Kissing Booth,” ″Nanette,” ″To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” ″The Kominsky Method,” ″The Haunting of Hill House,” ″GLOW,” ″Lost in Space,” ″The Great British Baking Show,” ″Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and “Queer Eye.” ″House of Cards” — Netflix’s first original series — debuted just six years ago.
The streaming behemoth would go on to tie the premium cable network with 23 wins at the Emmy Awards. Netflix also dominated the television categories at the Screen Actors Guild Awards with 15 total nods, nearly double any other network.
Top filmmaking talent like Martin Scorsese, the Coen brothers, and Michael Bay are working for Netflix, and the streaming giant convinced Charlie Brooker to bring his “Black Mirror” to its platform. It hired Channing Dungey from ABC Entertainment and Kira Goldberg from 21st Century Fox. It has promised to spend more than $8 billion on content this year alone.
In 2019, Netflix will likely face stiffer challenges from the likes of Amazon, Hulu, Apple, Warner Media and Disney, as well as needing to handle its long-term debt. But Netflix is looking for more subscribers in India and South America and the company’s market value is over $100 billion.
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