Paramount+ viewers struggled to watch The Emmy Awards while Apple and Netflix swept categories

The news: Streaming services like Apple TV+ and Netflix may have swept the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards this past weekend, but Paramount+ bungled its live broadcast of the event, per Slash Film.

More on this: Streaming shed the “new media” moniker with its impressive Emmys showing, establishing platforms as the dominant cultural forces over TV networks.

  • Netflix matched CBS’ all-time record for awards won, with 10 on Sunday and 34 last week at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, with popular shows like “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” taking home plaudits.
  • Apple TV+ won 11 awards, with “Ted Lasso” completing a full seven-category sweep, and breaking records to boot: Series star Jason Sudeikis was the first-ever lead actor in a freshman comedy series to win for both a lead performance and best series role.

Meanwhile, Paramount+ runs into trouble: While streaming may be on top in terms of content, Paramount’s livestreaming missteps show that messing up is not acceptable.

  • Viewers trying to tune into the Emmys last night via Paramount+ found themselves facing down a paywall—the streaming service had heavily advertised that it would be broadcasting the Emmys but didn’t clearly communicate that the stream was for premium members only.
  • Access wasn’t the only source of confusion: Nonpremium viewers who tuned in early had their streams cut off without notice once the show began. Even the “Watch Live” button on the platform’s home page didn’t mention that a premium subscription was required for viewing.

The problem: Paramount+ isn’t the only service with a spotty live broadcast event this year.

  • Viewers struggled to follow NBC’s schedule for the Tokyo Olympics, which was split across both network TV and Peacock.
  • The event drew its smallest audience since 1988, down 42% from the 2016 Olympics.
  • As a result, NBC had to comp ad space to some advertisers due to the event’s low ratings.

The takeaway: As streaming services begin to tap into popular live TV events, clarity in advertising will be key to reaching consumers and satisfying advertisers.

  • The streaming scene is only getting more competitive—now Amazon is getting in on live sports broadcasting—and users may not stick with services that burn them with unclear instructions and advertising.
  • Connected TVs and streaming services also make up an increasing portion of ad spend, and low viewership—whether due to miscommunication or otherwise—may damage some services’ ability to consistently attract advertisers.