Prime Instant Video streaming surges as Amazon enjoys original effect
James R | On 01, Sep 2014
Original content is the aim of just about every online video company right now – and Amazon’s latest report makes it easy to see why.
Amazon has increasingly invested in its own titles, as well as exclusive rights to US shows, and that is now starting to pay off, with streaming activity on the site surging by over 70 per cent.
The year has already seen an array of exclusive deals, from Season 2 of Vikings and the UK premiere of pirate show Black Sails to movies such as Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Horrible Bosses. In fact, Amazon has already tripled its selection since acquiring LOVEFiLM in 2011. That culminated in the company trumping Netflix to Halle Berry-starring sci-fi Extant, which debuted this summer – and has already become the second most-watched TV series on the service (episodes are still being released each Thursday following its US broadcast).
“We are excited by the response from our customers to our increased investment in exclusive and original content since we launched Prime Instant Video as part of Amazon Prime six months ago,” says Tim Leslie, Vice President of Amazon Instant Video in Europe.
Indeed, the Season 2 finale of Vikings is the most-streamed single episode on Prime Instant Video in the UK.
“Over the past few months we have continued to make improvements to delight our customers: we have launched on new devices, added new functionality and most importantly added great new and exclusive movie and TV content, and we’re just getting started!”
The announcement comes just as Amazon announces its new wave of TV pilots, which the public are invited to rate and review, helping the company to decide what to commission as its next original series. (Prime Instant Video members can already watch Amazon Studios original comedies Alpha House and Betas pluy original shows for kids, such as Tumble Leaf, Creative Galaxy and Annedroids.)
While these past shows have not always been successes, there is a sense that Amazon has stepped up its game this year, with Steven Soderbergh, Marc Forster, Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, David Gordon Green and Whit Stillman all having a hand in the new episodes. On Friday 26th September, meanwhile, Transparent – the new show from the creator of Six Feet Under, which stars Jeffrey Tambor – will premiere.
“Customers tell us that they love exclusive content and we see that these movies and TV shows almost always enter the Top 5 most watched lists immediately,” adds Chris Bird, Film Strategy Director for Amazon Instant Video in the UK.
“Since exclusive content has continuously been among the most streamed, we are very happy to announce more movie highlights coming up this autumn such as the Amazon Studios original series Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor and Roman Coppola’s Mozart In The Jungle, and of course the third series of the cancelled popular British drama Ripper Street which we’re currently filming exclusively for Prime Instant Video customers and will launch later this year before broadcast on the BBC next year.”
If Netflix was leading the original content race a year ago with House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, Amazon is fast catching up.
Read our review of the new Amazon TV pilots.