In search of the lost public: the Oscars are this Sunday and for the first time they will include a category chosen by Twitter users In order to stop the decline in its audience levels, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood tries to reinvent itself by seeking engagement through social networks.

By Eduardo Scheffler Zawadzki

This article was translated from our Spanish edition.

MARK RALSTON | Getty Images

For a long time , the Oscars were one of the biggest events of the year. A gala ceremony broadcast on television in which the viewer can see the admired stars of the world of cinema celebrating the best productions of the year in a show that usually alternates the announcement of the winners with musical numbers and increasingly grateful speeches politicized.

To date, the winners in each category are chosen by the members of each guild (that is, directors vote for directors; actresses vote for actresses, etc.), which means that the award-winning films and personalities are not necessarily the public's favorites. ; in fact, they usually are not. Perhaps for this reason, the event that was once lavish has lost its luster and audience. The transmission of the ceremony, which for years achieved audiences of about 40 million viewers, has been in a tailspin for almost a decade, with the lowest figures during the last two editions: 18.9 million people in 2020 and 10.6 million people in 2021 ( It should not be forgotten that the format of this last installment was different due to the pandemic).

Faced with the crisis, the Academy finally decided to take action: create a category voted by the public .

This new category is called Fan-Favorite Film and was chosen by users using the hashtags #OscarFanFavorites and #Sweepstakes along with the name of the film they want to cast their vote for. held between February 14 and March 3. The titles had to have been released during 2021 to be able to participate and users could cast up to 20 votes per day or vote directly on the Academy site (only open to users located in the United States).

It's not yet clear how the award will be presented at Sunday's ceremony, but among the films that could feature are Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tick, Tick… Boom and Cinderella . If it works, the dynamic could be extended to other networks, other categories and other territories for future editions.

Since 2018, the Academy had flirted with the idea of integrating a category voted on by fans; now it will finally happen. Will it be enough to captivate the lost public?

You can watch the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 27 at 6:00 p.m. (CT).

Eduardo Scheffler Zawadzki

Entrepreneur Staff

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