Over the last decade or so, the line between the technology world and the entertainment world has been blurring. Even CES has morphed into an event that celebrates equally new cutting-edge technology along with the content that the technology delivers. And that trend continued with last night's Emmy Awards.
The Emmys use to be "the Oscars for TV shows," but it has become apparent that the term "TV show" is badly outdated. For one, an ever-increasing number of consumers are skipping the whole "TV" part and watching shows on PCs, tablets and smartphones. Streaming services are as identifiable, or maybe more so, than the traditional TV networks that have produced shows since the dawn of television.
Last night both Amazon and Netflix were nominated for Emmys in the best series categories. HBO’s "Veep" was the winner for Outstanding Comedy Series, beating out Netflix’s "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and Amazon’s "Transparent." In the best drama category, HBO’s "Game of Thrones" beat out two Netflix original series, "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black."
Amazon not only earned its first-ever Emmy nomination for "Transparent," but racked up 12 nominations overall for the series.
It's been three years since Netflix launched "House Of Cards" and transformed itself from just another technology company to an acclaimed content studio. The fact that Amazon, primarily a retailer, is now a Hollywood player, underscores the transformative times we are living in.
While Amazon and Netflix, and other streaming services such as Hulu and YouTube, have yet to bring one of the big Best Series Emmy awards home, the pace with which they are changing the industry makes one sit up and notice.
Amazon's "Transparent" did earn Emmys for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Lead Actor (to the well-deserved Jeffery Tambor.) Netflix won several Emmys, including an Outstanding Actress award for Uzo Adubo for "Orange is the New Black."
The old joke in Hollywood used to be, no matter who you meet -- waiter, cab driver, plumber -- he has a screenplay in his drawer and is really a director in waiting. Now it seems no matter what your niche in the technology industry, you have a potential original series ready to break out.
It's an entertaining time to be in the technology business.