The two most popular Amazon original shows in most countries are “The Grand Tour” and “The Man in the High Castle,” and they are central to Amazon’s strategy for world domination, according to Amazon Studios boss Roy Price.
Amazon doesn’t release viewership numbers, but during a MIPTV keynote on Monday, Price revealed that these blockbuster series were the most popular.
“‘The Grand Tour’ is an expensive show but it’s well worth it,” Price said of the new show from the team behind “Top Gear.” The Financial Times had previously reported that Amazon had paid $US250 million for three seasons of the show, though Price declined to comment on the figure. “It’s actually efficient and good economics,” Price continued.
How is that?
In the subscription video business — Amazon, Netflix, HBO Now, and so on — what moves the needle are the shows that people are talking about, and compelled to see, Price said. Those are the shows that are going to make them sign up for a free trial, or convert a free trial to a paid subscription.
The “real focus is the crème de la crème,” Price said. The “actual shows people are talking about.” That’s not the only thing Amazon cares about. Price said that people watch a lot of movies on Amazon Prime, especially when they are new customers. But at the top of the totem pole are the blockbuster originals that can appeal to a global audience. In the hyper-competitive world of peak TV, Amazon cares most about the top 10 shows on its platform, according to Price.
And in deciding which shows will work, though Amazon is a tech company, data can only get them so far, according to Price. “You can look at what people watch but you can’t be too deterministic about it,” he said. “The show that will be real gamechanger will be a rule breaker, not what people are watching today.”
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