Streams are not a viable way to judge audience reception
Direct-to-stream movie companies operate using different corporate patterns and legal standards than theatrical-release producers. Streaming services use different promotional methods to advertise their content and can boost views and ratings using user information and algorithms that traditional theaters do not have access to. The film industry, which has already undergone rapid change in a short period of time due to the massive advancement in critically-acclaimed television and new diversity standards, should take the time to settle into those new changes before shifting the status quo yet again. Streaming is also the gateway to pirating, which damages all aspects of the entertainment industry. Standards for direct-to-stream movies are fundamentally different from theatrical release movies, and to merge the two without careful consideration could be detrimental to the longevity of critical reception. Rules and regulations for criticisms need to be reconsidered, and this should be done without the mounting pressure of digitization forcing their hand. If streaming services are allowed to produce award-eligible content released directly on their platforms, there should be a period of critical review in which award organizations ensure that Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and the like are held to equivalent standards.
Streaming is one of the only reasons movies continue to be successful outside of their theatrical release. Streaming has become so successful because it tapped into an existing market: the desire to watch movies from home and the desire to get more for your money in terms of access to a variety of content (of varying quality and entertainment value). The Academy is holding up exclusionary practices at the expense of streaming services that have produced content equal to theatrical release studios.
Rejecting the premises