CODA (Courtesy of Vendôme Pictures/Pathé)
What’s the value of winning an Oscar? For Apple, the historic Oscar best picture win for original film “CODA” on Sunday has produced immediate results — drawing 25% new viewers to the Apple TV Plus streaming service, and pushing viewing of the film up more than 300% compared with the week prior.
Apple’s Academy Award-winning film “CODA” beat Netflix to grab the crown as having the first film on a streaming service win the top Oscar prize. It’s also the first movie starring a predominantly Deaf cast in leading roles to win an Oscar for best picture.
Of course, the numbers about “CODA’s” performance on Apple TV Plus, provided by a source close to the tech company, don’t reveal all that much. Apple has never disclosed how many subscribers it has for Apple TV Plus, so it’s unclear what the 25% increase in new viewers indicates in terms of real numbers. Apple also hasn’t provided granular data on time spent streaming its content.
More important, there’s the question of whether the surge of new Apple TV Plus viewers will remain with the service for a meaningful period of time — or if they were just signing on to see “CODA” before they cancel. Apple offers a free seven-day trial of Apple TV Plus (which costs $4.99/month), and it gives away three months for free to customers who purchase new products like iPhones or Apple TV 4K boxes.
At the 94th Academy Awards, “CODA” won in all three categories in which it was nominated: best picture, supporting actor for Troy Kotsur and adapted screenplay for director Siân Heder.
This awards season “CODA” also won the SAG Award for ensemble cast in a motion picture as well as the PGA Awards’ Darryl F. Zanuck Award for outstanding producer of theatrical motion pictures, recognizing producers Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger.
Kotsur is the first Deaf male actor to ever receive an Oscar, a BAFTA Award, a SAG Award, a Film Independent Spirit Award and a Critics Choice Award for his performance in the film. Heder also was recognized with this year’s WGA Award and BAFTA Film Award for adapted screenplay.
At the Sundance Film Festival in 2021, where Apple acquired rights to the movie for $25 million, “CODA” snagged a record four awards, including the special jury award for ensemble cast, the directing award, the audience award, and the Grand Jury Prize (making it the first top Sundance winner to achieve an Oscar for best picture). “CODA” has also received an AFI Award, an NAACP Image Award for outstanding independent motion picture, and four Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards, including best picture, adapted screenplay for Heder, and supporting actor for Kotsur, as well as an HCA Spotlight Award.
Variety's Todd Spangler contributed to this post.