With the Oscars performing poorly this year, the Academy and Hollywood need to change in order to stand a chance against free content on the internet.
The Oscars, instead of turning to a new leaf this year, burnt it along with their previous record for the least amount of views the show ever received.
This year, the Oscars saw a loss of almost 7 million at 23.6 million views. Not only did this year’s Oscars set a new low for viewership, but it also saw its lowest ratings in the 18-49 age range.
Since 2014, the show has been on a steady decline. When hosted by Ellen DeGeneres that same year, the show saw a high viewership of 44 million viewers. Yet since then, it has lost more than half its normal viewership.
The reasons for this are plentiful but are telling of the new climate of the entertainment industry today.
People no longer have to watch the Oscars in order to find out who won what. As soon as awards are given out, people have many ways to find out via social media and online publications. Why watch when one can just find out everything that happened, in real-time, on their Twitter feeds?
The show no longer having a host also doesn’t give the incentive to watch.
If the Academy Awards are going to continue without a host, more attention needs to be brought to the multitude of performances that will be taking place. Rapper Eminem had a surprise performance this year that was completely unadvertised. Though a nice surprise, it was an opportunity missed for showing off why the show demands attention.
The Oscars aren’t the only show to be hit with this decline. The Grammy Awards also had the lowest viewership in their history while the Golden Globes saw a 2% decrease in viewership.
Focus is being drawn away from Hollywood, and instead, other entertainment avenues are garnering more attention.
Platforms such as Twitch and YouTube are getting an absurd amount of traffic. These platforms are free, have fewer ads and allow users to watch the content that they want at any time.
Against these platforms, the Academy needs to give more reasons to watch the Oscars.
With the sheer amount of free content now available 24/7 on the internet, the Academy needs to step up their game. Otherwise, they’re going to be left in the dust.