Netflix has recently been dropping entire season’s worth of episodes all at once — Arrested Development, House of Cards — allowing people to engage in “binge viewing.”
Amazon isn’t following suit.
While the Seattle online giant released all 14 pilots of its original comedy and children’s series at the same time when seeking customer feedback, the company won’t be using the strategy for the final productions.
Netflix, meanwhile, has found success dumping entire seasons at once, even though people can download a free trial just to watch the show, then cancel the membership right after.
“Our decision to launch all episodes at once created enormous media and social buzz, reinforcing our brand attribute of giving consumers complete control over how and when they enjoy their entertainment,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells wrote their quarterly letter to shareholders. “Some investors worried that the House of Cardsfans would take advantage of our free trial, watch the show, and then cancel. However, there was very little free-trial gaming — less than 8,000 people did this — out of millions of free trials in the quarter.”
Amazon’s pricing model differs from Netflix’s approach, offering a portion of its catalog for no extra charge to Amazon Prime members (who pay $79/year for a package that also includes free shipping and Kindle book rentals). Amazon also offers a la carte streaming movie and TV show rentals and digital purchases.
Amazon’s five original shows, including Alpha House, will be available to Amazon Prime members later this year.