Netflix finally crushed HBO’s seemingly neverending total Emmy nominations streak with a whopping 112 nominations in 2018 alone. HBO only bagged 108, but then again, its flagship drama, Game of Thrones managed to score 22 of those nominations all by itself. In other words, the premium cable network and the streaming giant are locked in a struggle of brands and original programming, and with “Peak TV” being what it is, it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Just to make sure, HBO’s new head, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson declared on Wednesday that Netflix was the Walmart of streamers.
“HBO is a very very unique asset,” Stephenson said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. “I think of Netflix kind of as the Walmart of [subscription video on-demand services]. HBO is kind of the Tiffany.”
Of course, as Variety and many other outlets commenting on the matter suggested, the Netflix-to-Walmart comparison is a weird one in financial terms, as the retail giant garnered $486 billion in revenue last year alone. That’s “100 times more massive than the high-end Tiffany & Co., which reported $4.2 billion in sales for 2017.” Yet Stephenson’s comments had less to do with money and more to do with quality. After all, Netflix has produced and/or distributed nearly 1,000 original shows in the past five years. That’s a lot of programming, to be sure, but not all of it has been good. Remember Iron Fist?