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Amazon rides 'Transparent' to victory at Golden Globes

The original series wins Amazon its first-ever Golden Globe awards at Sunday night's ceremony, while Netflix nabs one for "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Amazon's original series "Transparent" scores two Golden Globes Amazon

Amazon and Netflix may not have won big at the Golden Globes but both showed that they can hold their own against traditional TV networks and cable channels.

Amazon won its first-ever Golden Globes at Sunday's awards ceremony. The online service's original show " Transparent" won the Golden Globe for best TV series, musical or comedy, while star Jeffrey Tambor took home an award for best actor. Making its debut last year, "Transparent" is about a middle-aged man who comes out as a woman.

Netflix, which ""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="8482d9b1-67d5-11e3-a665-14feb5ca9861" slug="in-online-tv-first-netflix-wins-emmy-for-drama-directing" link-text="won its first Emmy in 2013 for " section="news" title="In online TV first, Netflix wins Emmy for drama directing" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"8482d9b1-67d5-11e3-a665-14feb5ca9861","slug":"in-online-tv-first-netflix-wins-emmy-for-drama-directing","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"internet"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Internet","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> scored just one Golden Globe on Sunday -- Kevin Spacey for Best Actor in the political TV drama, which starts its third season on February 27. Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black" was nominated in three categories but came up empty.

Cable series tend to dominate the TV portion of awards ceremonies such as the Golden Globes. But the nominations and wins for Amazon and Netflix are further evidence that online shows are gaining credibility and recognition. In the past, both companies focused mainly on providing movies and TV shows from other sources.

But over the past few years, there's been a decided effort from both Amazon and Netflix to offer original programming. The idea is to transform themselves from services that carry older movies and TV series into services that can compete with the likes of HBO and Showtime as networks with original content. The goal is to try to generate more buzz with these original shows and thus drum up more subscriptions.

Amazon sells its Prime service packaged with Instant Video and other benefits for $99 a year, while Netflix offers both streaming and DVD rentals on various tiers.

Online services such as Amazon and Netflix also provide producers, writers and creative talent with a forum unencumbered by the typical network interference. Both services have been praised for their hands-off approach, leaving the producers and writers to do their work.

"Transparent" creator Jill Soloway told Variety that she considered other outlets for her series, but Amazon wound up being a perfect fit. "You want to be somewhere where they're passionate about you," she said. "And they've been wonderful."