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A Change Is Made to the Emmy Awards Categories

Emmy Awards Categories Expanding to Include Short-Form Series

September 16th, 2016   ||    by Callie Wheeler

Earlier this year, the Emmy Awards categories expanded, with the Television Academy announcing it would now include awards for short-form series. This is just one of many recent changes highlighting the growing relevance of nontraditional content in today’s media landscape.


The short-form series categories—comedy or drama, variety, reality/nonfiction, animation, actor, and actress—stipulate a program must have at least six episodes and be no longer than fifteen minutes each. Forbes reported that Bruce Rosenblum, the TV Academy’s chairman and CEO, credited the categories’ creation to the “rapid acceleration in the volume of terrific creative work” in the digital space.

Traditional Media Implications

What does this shift mean for advertisers and the content providers themselves? As viewers are clearly cozying up to unconventional programming, will advertisers feel more comfortable taking the plunge too?

A look at the inaugural nominees for short-series Emmy Awards categories gives a clear picture of where this content lives, and surprisingly much of it is on cable and broadcast TV. VideoInk’s list of the nominees shows a strong presence of nontraditional mediums from YouTube, Vimeo, and Funny or Die.

“Acting Dead” Official Trailer from Brian Beacock on Vimeo.

With the attention these Emmy Awards are garnering on short-form series, it’s only logical that advertising dollars will follow. For brands looking to reach audiences who may be absent from traditional broadcast and cable shows, these series provide an opportunity to meet them where they are, whether on YouTube or a network’s website.

And the Winner Is…

So what does the future look like? How will these brands evolve based on today’s success? Short-form series’ success may encourage large networks—like NBC with its Heroes Reborn series—to continue to pursue other mediums for reaching audiences, expanding their online reach, unique content, and willingness to try what’s trending.

For brands like Adult Swim, who have often broken the mold of traditional programming, audiences will likely continue to see its commitment to unique content. The main difference may be which advertisers are willing to hop on board and advertise with programs like Children’s Hospital and Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell.

The new short-form categories will certainly have implications for advertisers. It’ll be interesting to see what unfolds at the ceremony on September 18th.

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