In April, Amazon made 14 pilots of 14 different Internet series viewable to the public on Amazon.com. They asked viewers to submit feedback, which they would take into account when they selected the five that will be made into full series.
Amazon announced the winners today, just after Netflix released the fourth season of Arrested Development over the long weekend. Original series are a huge spotlight on today’s Internet video providers, and now it seems like Netflix and Amazon are bringing on the competition.
Netflix stock dropped unexpectedly on Tuesday, the day after the release of the new season of Arrested Development, according to CNN. Speculators say this may be due to the lukewarm critical reception of the season, and Netflix will have to rely on positive viewer reactions to boost subscriptions (the ultimate goal, of course!).
In the meantime, Amazon seems to be hitting Netflix right where it hurts. According to an article on Mashable, Nickelodeon recently declined to renew their contract with Netflix, resulting in the loss of some children’s programming on the service. Coincidentally, three out of the five announced Amazon shows are geared towards children.
Amazon’s show list (according to Yahoo! News) includes “Alpha House,” a political comedy, “Beta,” another comedy, and the three kids’ shows: “Annebots,” “Creative Galaxy,” and “Tumbleaf.”
All of the new shows will be available on the Amazon Prime Instant Video service, which is included for free with the purchase of Amazon Prime at $79 per year. Netflix, at $96 per year, may be in hot water if Amazon continues to pursue major studio content as well as original shows.
An AdAge article does mention that Amazon has not ruled out the possibility that the shows will be ad-supported. However, they have been relatively close-lipped about that aspect of their new programming.
Overall, Amazon wins the weekend for their user feedback-based response to other streaming video services. Kudos, Amazon!