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Apple's Hollywood ambitions vindicated with 'Coda' Oscar wins

Tim Baysinger
Mar 28, 2022
Winners of the Best Picture award for ‘CODA’, pose in the press room at the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images

In a major vindication of its Hollywood ambitions, Apple was the big winner at last night's Oscars with "CODA" winning all three of the categories it was nominated in, including Best Picture.

Why it matters: It's yet another example of how much streaming has upended Hollywood.

  • It was the second year in a row that streaming played a major role in a Best Picture winner: Last year's winner "Nomadland" was released in theaters and on Hulu at the same time.
  • Jane Campion won Best Director for her Netflix film "The Power of the Dog." Netflix has the most nominations over the past three years. (We wouldn't blame Ted and Reed if they were a bit sour right now).
  • Hulu and Searchlight's "Summer of Soul" won for Best Documentary.

Be smart: Apple has been in the entertainment business for less than three years, making its climb to the top of the Academy Awards all the more impressive.

  • Unlike its competitors, Apple TV+ has had to scale up its library from scratch. It's made few acquisitions and doesn't have the same massive back catalog of older titles.
  • Apple bought "CODA" during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival for a record $25 million.
  • "CODA" also won for Best Adapted Screenplay and Troy Kotsur took home Best Supporting Actor, becoming the second deaf actor to win an Oscar.
  • At last year's Emmys, Apple TV+'s "Ted Lasso" won Best Comedy while its three leads — Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham — all won in their respective categories.

Yes, but: We still have no idea how many people are actually watching Apple TV+, but it probably doesn't matter if they're bagging awards.

  • Only in Hollywood can a tech behemoth with a nearly $3 trillion market cap be seen as a plucky underdog.
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