How Expensive Are Amazon’s TV Series?

While streaming platforms remain tight-lipped about their various original series budgets and ratings, some are better than others about it. Netflix, for example, has had little issue when the budgets of their various series from “The Crown” to “The Get Down” become talking points. Amazon however are notoriously tight-lipped about it.

Now a new report from Reuters has offered a look at Amazon’s numbers and reveal that approximately 26 million people have tuned into its video catalogue, with its TV series bringing in five million new Prime subscribers as of early last year.

Unsurprisingly the first seasons of three series proved far bigger draws than anything else on their network – the car-themed talk show “The Grand Tour,” the high-profile Philip K. Dick adaptation “The Man in the High Castle” and the old school L.A. detective noir drama “Bosch” based on the novel series by Michael Connolly (“The Lincoln Lawyer”).

The study reveals that ‘High Castle’ for example attracted eight million viewers in the U.S. by the beginning of 2017 and had brought in 1.15 million new Prime subscribers worldwide. That came in at a price of $72 million to both produce and market that first season, and so it works out that it cost Amazon approximately $63 per new Prime subscriber – an expense they dub ‘cost per first stream’.

The second season, on the other hand, wasn’t so effective – costing $107 million all up but not changing ratings wise much – lifting that cost per first stream to $829. This is partly why “Good Girls Revolt” was cancelled on the network, as it cost $81 million to produce but only attracted 52,000 ‘first streamers’ – putting its cost per first stream at $1560 per person.

The report also reveals “Bosch” cost $47 million and $53 million for its first and second seasons respectively, “Mozart in the Jungle” cost $37 million for its second season, and “Goliath” cost $82 million for its first season. “Transparent” may have nabbed awards, but the audience for it was slim with the first season drawing four million viewers, the third having fallen to just 1.3 million.

This is partly why there is a push from Amazon to get away from niche far and to more wide and globally appealing projects as they would bring in new subscribers. Click here for the full report.