Netflix’s home grown Washington DC based thriller ‘House of Cards’ has won its first major Emmy for Best Director, the first award of its kind for a web series. Netflix’s first attempt at original programming beat off competition from Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire at last night’s ceremony and represents a milestone for the television industry. In all, the company walked away with three awards, one from last night and two Creative Arts Emmys from a previous event for outstanding casting and outstanding cinematography, a decent return on investment for their $100 Million budget.

Although Netflix are unbelievably reticent about viewing figures, we know that Netflix traffic accounts for 32.3% of internet traffic to residential homes in North America and the company has around 37 Million global subscribers. Nielsen report that two in five Americans use the service. Netflix has also introduced the concept of ‘binge watching’by releasing whole series at once. As the first online show to ever be nominated for Emmy, ‘House of Cards’ is a game changer as big as the first cable series to be nominated, HBO’s ‘The Larry Sanders Show‘ way back in 1996.

With the second series of ‘House of Cards’ due and the rave reviews that ‘Orange is the New Black’ has received, we can expect an even stronger presence from Netflix at next year’s Emmy awards.

house of cards netflix

A complete list of Emmy 2013 winners can be found here.