The Wrap revealed that “Alpha House” producer Jonathan Alter does not plan to release all of the show’s episodes at once, as Netflix has been doing with all of its original content.
It comes as a surprise considering Netflix’s apparent stranglehold on streaming content and mastery of binge-viewed shows, but also deserves some context. As mentioned before, Netflix doesn’t release any viewership statistics and reported rates of binge-consumption for “Arrested Development” only peaked at 10 percent. That tells us two things: binge-watching might not be the most successful business model, but also that no one has revealed real numbers to prove otherwise.
And despite initial stock backlash following the “Arrested Development” debut, analysts have placed their confidence in Netflix once again, owed in part to a deal with Dreamworks. However, it’s important to note that the production deal with Dreamworks is to develop kids’ shows based on Dreamworks movies. At this point this is just speculation, but even if Netflix releases entire seasons of these shows at once, how many parents will let their kids binge-watch entire seasons of “Turbo F.A.S.T.”?
Furthermore, Monday’s report that YouTube viewership most closely resembles TV viewership would also indicate that Amazon shows might actually benefit from being released at least once per week. Certainly, it’s a stretch to assume that Amazon Studios programming will perform in the same way YouTube videos do, but it definitely sets precedent.
Finally, comScore’s Online Video Rankings for May 2013 shows Amazon already has the audience to release their shows in any manner they like. All “Google Sites” (which includes YouTube) had the most unique viewers last month, while Amazon came in ninth — before Amazon has even released a show.
It should be noted, though, since Netflix does not release their statistics, that the platform also fails to be accounted for in comScore rankings. Until Netflix starts releasing viewership stats, Amazon’s numbers to beat come from YouTube. And if Alter releases “Alpha House” at least once per week, he’ll have both an established format to rely on and a potentially huge audience already familiar with it not to mention a moderate level of celebrity to lean on.
What do you think about Alter’s approach versus Netflix? To binge or not to binge, tell us in the comments.