Google is about to become very important to Emmy voters: the company has signed a deal with the Television Academy that will use Chromecast to distribute awards consideration screeners. According to The Hollywood Reporter, voters will receive free Chromecasts as part of the multi-year pact, with an exclusive app streaming the shows to the device.
It's being framed as a more flexible option that cuts down on the waste of physical DVDs, and while that's certainly true, two other factors are undoubtedly cost and piracy. It costs money to create DVDs and packaging materials and to send them out to voters, and no matter how well-watermarked a video is, there's always a resourceful individual out there willing to do the work to circumvent the problem (the latter is a particular issue for Oscar screeners).
Digital options aren't new
Given the issues, there have been a number of different options over the years. Apple's iTunes has been a source for entertainment industry screeners in the past, while many networks offer online viewing options through a web browser; NBC even offers its own mobile app specifically for the purpose of distributing screeners. Adopting Chromecast as a standard for the Academy, however, drives the entire process forward — not to mention, you know, letting voters actually watch TV shows on their TVs.