Are Amazon and Netflix Programmed for Success?
Based on the most recent news, it appears that original and/or exclusive programming is the key to success in the video rental business.
Netflix, which appeared headed for disaster two years ago after botching a change in service and pricing to customers, is back riding high with two million new subscribers added in the U.S. alone over the last quarter.
The key has been the addition of original programming such as Hemlock Grove, House of Cards and Lilyhammer, as well as exclusive deals with movie studios including Disney.
Amazon.com has taken a similar route to expand its streaming video rental business. Although it trails Netflix in total number of titles available for streaming, the company is looking to its own original programming efforts to reduce the subscription gap. Last week, Amazon debuted pilot episodes of more than a dozen programs. The result, according to an Amazon press release, was that eight of the 10 most viewed programs on its service over the weekends were pilots.
"For the past year the Amazon Studios team has collaborated with some of the best actors and writers in Hollywood to produce top-quality shows. Now we’ve handed the remote to our customers to hear what they think," said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, in a statement. "In just a few days the pilots have received thousands of helpful and sometimes hilarious reviews."
According to Amazon, 80 percent of ratings it has received on the original programming came with four or five stars.
- Netflix Taking Heat Over Price Increase – RetailWire
- Netflix Blunts Skeptics as New Users Propel 132% Gain – Bloomberg News
- Amazon Primed to Take on Netflix – RetailWire
- Amazon Originals the Most Watched TV Shows on Amazon Instant Video Since the Friday Launch – Amazon.com
Is original programming a necessity for success in the video rental business today? What do you see as the relative strengths and weaknesses of Amazon and Netflix as they compete head to head in the streaming video category?