The viewership numbers are in for Amazon’s first-ever NFL live stream.
The NFL reported Friday that Amazon reached 1.6 million viewers around the world who launched a stream of Thursday’s Bears vs. Packers game available to Amazon Prime members.
That’s below the 2.1 million viewers that Twitter reported for its first game last season; the social media site inked a similar live-streaming deal for Thursday Night Football that Amazon paid a reported $50 million for this season.
However, the average worldwide audience watching for at least 30 seconds last night on Amazon was 372,000. That exceeds the 243,000 people who watched for at least 30 seconds on Twitter’s first game stream last year.
In other words, more individual users tuned into the stream on Twitter last season for at least a short amount of time, but Amazon’s stream attracted more people, on average, who stuck around to watch the game for a longer period of time.
An important note: Twitter’s stream was available to anyone for free, and even to those without a Twitter account. Amazon meanwhile required a Prime membership, though it did direct non-Prime members to sign up for a 30-day free trial, which granted access to the stream.
The total “average-minute” audience for last night’s game across all platforms, including TV, was 15.1 million, which was down 4 percent from last year’s first Thursday Night Football game. Like last year, the live-stream audience made up a small percentage of the total viewership, with the majority of folks watching on television.
But, it is difficult to compare the TV and digital numbers apples-to-apples, as Nielsen noted in 2015.
Viewers watched Amazon’s stream for an average of 55 minutes, the NFL said, which was higher than the 22 minutes Twitter reported last year. There were a combined 1.9 million viewers for Amazon’s pregame show and the game itself.
Amazon leveraged other parts of its business to spread the word about the broadcast, as banners for the game were all over Amazon’s apps and website. The company offered commentary in four languages; each stream had a slightly different slate of advertising. Reuters reported in June that Amazon was looking to charge $2.8 million for a 30-second spot.
Part of Amazon’s streaming strategy is to attract more Prime members who pay $99 per year or $10.99 per month for benefits like free two-day shipping, cloud storage, and more.