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Netflix just spent $4 million to snag Emmy attention

Netflix is kicking it old school this week. The once (and still, for a few oldsters) mail-order streaming service has sent out its pre-Emmy care packages to film and TV critics in advance of this year’s Emmy awards — a special physical reminder of the company’s roots. But there’s a difference between this year’s care package and those of years past: this one is huge, according to Variety.

The streaming service has sent physical copies of every episode of more than 26 original series and features, all of which are eligible for this year’s Emmy Awards. It’s a massive four-box set that weighs in at over 20 pounds.

Typical TV and film studios spend somewhere around $1 million each year to create, package, and mail their highlights to the Academy’s almost 20,000 participants. This year, estimates have the cost of Netflix’s mailing at between two and four times that.

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That’s because most studios send a select number of DVDs with highlighted episodes from each series, rather than throw reviewers each moment of each show. This practice occurs not because they don’t want to send every episode, but due to the massive cost it incurs.

Every mailer has to be sent through the Academy’s internal shipping service, and to send to more than 10 of the 28 peer groups in the Academy costs $1,750 per episode. Variety reports that NBC and Universal, for example, sent 31 episodes total — which is the same amount that Netflix sent of Bojack Horseman alone.

An increasing number of internet critics and others saying that money spent is what begets big awards, and the streaming giant is apparently in agreement. Either that, or the company really wants TV and film critics to take it more seriously — a bigger-is-better mentality that might actually be effective.

Oddly enough, the streaming company also included a free access code to its service, which many judges could use to stream the 20 pounds of content, rather than lug it to a DVD player.

If anything, it’s a great chance for audiences and insiders to see whether or not big packages matter — a question which will find its answer at the 68th Annual Emmy Awards, set to take place on September 16.