Netflix and Apple TV+ are in a tight race for the best picture Oscar. Here's an inside look at Netflix's massive awards campaign machine.

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Netflix and Apple TV+ are in a tight race for the best picture Oscar. Here's an inside look at Netflix's massive awards campaign machine.
Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Jesse Plemons in "The Power of the Dog."Netflix
  • Netflix's "Power of the Dog" and Apple TV+'s "CODA" are in a dead heat, Oscar pundits say, for best picture.
  • Ahead of the Academy Awards, Insider took a deep dive into Netflix's 40-person awards campaign operation.
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If most Hollywood prognosticators are to be believed, "The Power of the Dog" and "CODA" are in a dead heat to win best picture at the Oscars on Sunday.

Both films are distributed by streaming services with massive influence — "CODA" from Apple TV+, the studio unit of the iPhone maker, and "Power of the Dog" from Netflix, which boasts over 220 million subscribers around the world. While Apple is the bigger beast by market cap, it's Netflix that has, in the last decade, established a powerful grip on the entertainment industry, disrupting the way legacy studios do business at every level and frequently dominating the Emmy and Oscar nominations.

But one big prize has eluded Netflix, or any streamer, for the matter: an Academy Award for best picture. The streamer came close with 2018's "Roma," spending an estimated $30 million to market and campaign for Alfonso Cuarón's sweeping family drama.

Ahead of Sunday's Oscar telecast — airing at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC — Insider took a deep dive into Netflix's awards campaign operation. Led by powerhouse awards strategist Lisa Taback, who joined the company four years ago, its full-time in-house awards team that promotes projects for Oscars, Emmys, and other awards has grown 40 people strong, and Netflix has bought entire billboards along a stretch of Sunset Boulevard and in other prominent locations in Los Angeles.

In the era preceding Taback's arrival at the company, Netflix had accrued seven Oscar nominations. Since then, it has amassed 116, including 27 nods this year alone — more than any other studio.

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Read more about Netflix's 40-person awards team and the streamer's quest for its first Academy Award for best picture

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