Prime Video Really Bringing in the Customers for Amazon

According to the report, 1.15 million people chose to sign up for Amazon's Prime service to watch the show. The news outlet says it has reviewed company memos detailing the cost and viewership of almost two dozen Prime exclusive series, including Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, and the short-lived Good Girls Revolt.

The high-cost of producing the alternate-history thriller translates into an average spend of $63 per Prime subscriber acquired for the first season. In November, Amazon won the rights to the Lord of the Rings universe for an estimated $200 to $250 million.

Memberships that only offer access to Amazon Prime Video will remain at $8.99 per month. However, Reuters has obtained internal documents which reveal that more than 26 million people in the United States watch content on Amazon Prime Video. "Good Girls Revolt", a story on gender inequality within a NY newsroom was a complete and utter failure from a business standpoint. (For comparison's sake, competitor Netflix reported 55 million USA subscribers last quarter).

For what it's worth, however, Reuters says the data show the first season of High Castle drew about twice as many viewers (8 million) as season one of Transparent, and that the third season of Transparent supposedly drew less than half as many viewers (1.3 million) as season one. Additionally, the documents show what Amazon considers to be the financial logic of its strategy, and why the company is now making more commercial projects in addition to high-brow shows aimed at winning awards, according to Reuters who spoke with two people familiar with the matter. Amazon has never officially revealed viewership numbers for Amazon Prime. That metric is known as a "first stream". But thanks to a new report, we do have a pretty good idea of how committed Amazon must be to soldiering on with Philip K Dick's tale of what the USA might have looked like if the Nazis had won out. As the chart above shows, Sneaky Pete, the second lowest-rated show on the lineup, still brings in considerably better numbers than Good Girls. For example, "Good Girls Revolt" had total US viewership of 1.6 million but cost $81 million, with only 52,000 first streams worldwide by Prime members. "The program's cost per new customer was about $1560, according to the documents", Reuters notes. It's no surprise that it was cancelled after the first season.

  • Eleanor Harrison