Apple TV+ made history by first streaming service to win a best picture Oscar for “CODA,” a heartwarming drama about the daughter of deaf parents who pursues her passion for music. The streaming service purchased “CODA” for a record $25 million following its debut in 2021 at the Sundance Film Festival. It has gathered momentum throughout the awards season, winning top honors from the Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild awards.
CODA faced intense competition from Netflix’s critically acclaimed western, The Power of the Dog, which collected a dozen nominations. The film’s director, Jane Campion, received an Academy Award. The best picture Oscar signals how far the industry has come since 2017, when the Cannes film festival prohibited movies that were not released on the big screen from competing for its most prestigious prize, the Palme d’Or. It was a deliberate snub to streaming services like Netflix.
As the global pandemic forced theaters to close, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences modified its Oscar eligibility rules to temporarily change the requirement. That represented a watershed moment for movies that debut via streaming services in the home. The best picture Oscar also marks a milestone for Apple TV+, which launched in November 2019. They had a handful of original series and no library of movies and TV shows.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives wrote before the awards that if Apple was to win the coveted best picture award with CODA it would catalyze more A+ talent coming to Apple first and boost subscriptions.