Amazon set to broadcast its own TV series after exhaustive data analytics


This month, Amazon will broadcast two new television series that it has entirely produced in-house. Needless to say, this was not done in a spur of the moment, but in typical Amazon fashion: after an in-depth analysis of various data streams.

Already this spring, CEO Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon would start producing its own content and broadcast it through its own streaming video service.

Thus, the company seems to be following in the footsteps of Netflix, which has also resorted to producing its own content for its services in the shape of TV series like House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black.

But Amazon would not be Amazon if it didn’t do things slightly different to the rest. A little less than a month before Bezos’ first announcement, the company published no less than 14 pilot episodes of the new TV series that Amazon intended to produce.

Over a million viewers watched these series and subsequently provided their feedback. Their evaluations and viewing patterns (viewing length, the moment on which viewers pulled out, etc.) were used as a basis for determining which of the five concepts would actually make it to full-blown productions.

“We’ve always operated in a way where we let the data drive what to put in front of customers. We don’t have tastemakers deciding what our customers should read, listen to and watch.” — Bill Carr, VP Digital Video & Music

From a long list of concepts (which, according to insiders, included over 1,000 ideas), 14 were made pilot-ready. The Amazon team was then able to select the five best options based on actual insights.


Consequently, this month Amazon will start broadcasting “Alpha House” and “Betas”. These series form not only a perfect match in terms of their titles. They happen to be two sitcoms, albeit with completely different story lines.

Alpha House is a political comedy with a cast including the likes of John Goodman, while Betas relates the adventures of a group of entrepreneurs who want to make it big in Silicon Valley.

Amazon’s preparation phase commands respect: it is far from a cheap solution to create pilots for 14 different formats. At the same time, this may turn out much cheaper in the long-term compared to recording 14 TV series and having to ditch most of the shows.