At the TCA Summer TV Press Tour Amazon has been fielding some questions about their new series. During a discussion of Gary Tredeau’s Alpha House, Trudeau admitted that he didn’t know how many people were actually watching. As he explained “One of the interesting things about working for Amazon is it’s kind of a black box. We don’t know what the metrics are. We’re just thrilled when they say the audience likes it and they want to put together another season. We’re not really part of appraising the show… We just try to make the best show we can.”
This makes sense for Amazon, since these series are not their primary way of making money and more of a bonus that gives them a bit of prestige and their Prime subscribers a bit more for their money. Amazon, of course, knows how many people are watching but they don’t see the need to let the creative team in on that information. Netflix has also kept quiet about exact viewer numbers. It’s an interesting way that the landscape of subscription media services like Netflix and like what Amazon Prime is trying to become have different concerns than those of traditional TV networks and shows. Low ratings might not be a problem for shows on these services as long as Amazon and Netflix can count on a core group of dedicated viewers to keep paying their subscriptions.
Alpha House was picked up for a second season. I obviously have no idea how many of you may or may not be excited about that.