Home Latest News The CBS-ification of Amazon Prime Video – Puck

The CBS-ification of Amazon Prime Video – Puck

A couple expensive misfires and insane budgets have Hollywood questioning Amazon’s strategy. But Amazon knows how to make great shows; it’s just learning how to do so efficiently.
These days, the biggest stories about Amazon Prime Video focus on the platform’s biggest misses. Citadel, the spy series that cost more than $250 million and yet failed to top Nielsen’s weekly streaming chart, is the latest example. Rings of Power, Amazon’s big Lord of the Rings series that was bested by HBO’s House of the Dragon each week last fall, is another. 
Of course, it’s unfair to compare Prime Video to the other big streamers. It’s not a new service from a legacy media company, like Paramount+, Peacock, Disney+, or Max. Nor is it a standalone pure play platform like Netflix or Hulu. On the contrary, Prime Video, like Apple TV+, is a shingle atop a multi-trillion-dollar technology company, designed to increase overall value. Sure, all these companies hope that streaming pixie dust will filter down to sister business units, like theme parks or merchandise. But Amazon is unique in looking at the number of Prime customers who sign up through Prime Video, or who use Prime Video and then shop on its e-commerce site, as a key performance indicator.
So it’s not enough to simply glance at Nielsen and judge whether Prime Video’s most expensive shows have flopped miserably. It’s a poor representation of truth for a global show. The better question is whether they are working for Amazon. And if not, what does Amazon need Prime Video to do differently? To better understand what Prime Video could be instead of what it’s trying to be, executives might look at what Netflix has learned over the past few years: the service doesn’t need to go big or go home. Instead, success lies in optimizing the overlapping audience that exists beyond the marquee titles. 
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