Amazon Sends a Greek Army to Attack Netflix

Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) isn't an airline, but it is picking its pilots.

The leading online retailer announced the shows that it will be bankrolling.

Alpha House, Betas, and three children's shows that don't have any Greek letters in their titles had their pilots picked up by Amazon. Amazon and its overseas subsidiary LOVEFiLM provided free pilots for several shows earlier this month to their viewers, letting online democracy dictate which shows get financed.

Production of a full series of episodes for each of the five shows will result in content that will air exclusively on Prime Instant Video between now and early next year.

This is naturally a different approach than what Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) has done in putting out more prolific content. The leading video service has now introduced four first-run shows through its streaming platform, highlighted by February's critically acclaimed House of Cards and this past weekend's debut of the fourth season of Arrested Development.

Both approaches are smart. Netflix has enough streaming data to know the type of content and the stars that subscribers gravitate to. When you're serving up more than a billion hours of content a month it's easy to make educated decisions. Amazon doesn't have that luxury on the streaming end, though it's certainly armed with plenty of retail DVD sales data. However, letting viewers dictate a show's success makes them vested in its future. When the shows do begin rolling out later this year, they won't be entirely unfamiliar.

These aren't the only two approaches.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) may be working on some original content of its own through YouTube. It recently allowed some of its higher-profile video makers to roll out premium subscription channels. It also opened up a production studio in Los Angeles to help improve the skills of its more popular channel creators.

It's still hard to bet against Netflix. As far as premium subscriptions go, no one else comes close to its reach, and that will make it the top choice for aspiring content producers.

Amazon may screen some cult hits in the coming months, but the five new shows are unlikely to generate the kind of buzz -- or audience -- that Netflix has amassed for its original programming.

Bezos is no Bozo
Everyone knows Amazon is the king of the retail world right now, but at its sky-high valuation, most investors are worried it's the company's share price that will get knocked down instead of competitors'. The Motley Fool's premium report will tell you what's driving the company's growth, and fill you in on reasons to buy and reasons to sell Amazon. The report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as the company's story changes, so click here now to read more.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2459198, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/23/2014 1:33:13 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement