The next Emmy Awards ceremony could see your favorite stars from YouTube Red, Maker Studios or Adult Swim take home an Emmy later this year, thanks to changes to the short-form category that make room for digital content.
That isn't to say the Emmys have snubbed internet content in the past, as they have included long-form series contenders from providers like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. However, there were only two awards (live entertainment and non-fiction) reserved for the short-form category, which is where most internet-based programming is nominated.
The new, expanded short-form series category now includes four awards: comedy or drama, variety, reality/non-fiction and animation. There is also a new category for performers in a short-form series as well, including awards for outstanding actor and actress.
To be eligible, the short-form series can be shown on either traditional TV or internet, but requires a minimum of six episodes that average 15 minutes or less in length.
And the Emmy goes to...
Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum explained in a statement that the expansion of the short-form category is in response to the industry "aggressively, quickly and creatively evolving the various ways episodic stories are told," irrespective of format or platform.
"These category changes reflect the broader opportunities that emerging networks and distribution platforms, such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen, Crackle, AwesomenessTV, YouTube Red, Adult Swim and others, are seizing in choosing innovative formats that enable our television community to share stories in novel and entertaining ways," he said.
It's a move that both recognizes and further legitimizes digital content, such as shows and series delivered over internet-based platforms.
Unfortunately, the category will remain part of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies, which takes place during the weekend before the Emmys primary broadcasted awards ceremony.