Amazon UK’s streaming figures have surged by some 70% since the OTT service was rebranded from LOVEFiLM to Amazon Prime Instant Video UK in February, the e-commerce giant has announced.
The surge in viewing is, in large part, due to Amazon’s increased content spend for the UK market, which coincided with the rebrand. That investment saw the launch of Amazon Original series Alpha House and Betas, as well as pilots The After, Bosch, Transparent and Mozart In The Jungle, all of which were green-lit to series with the first season of Transparent set to premiere on September 26th.
In addition to rolling out Amazon Original series on the re-branded service, the increased content spend saw Amazon Prime Instant Video UK, in a competitive situation, acquire the exclusive rights to the CBS summer series Extant, which is available to stream on Amazon within 24 hours of the US premiere. The show, which stars Halle Berry, joined fellow Amazon exclusives such as Vikings, Crossing Lines, the Starz pirate drama Black Sails and Ripper Street, which Amazon resurrected after it was cancelled by the BBC.
Amazon said that in the six months since the rebrand, it was those exclusive dramas which occupied the 5 top slots on Amazon Prine Instant Video UK’s most watched list. While, like their main competitor Netflix, Amazon does not release specific metrics, they said that in those six months the number one show was the first season of Vikings; Extant came in second place; the second season of Vikings was third, Black Sails was the fourth most popular; while The Walking Dead,which Amazon holds the exclusive UK streaming rights to, came in fifth place.
Given these results, Amazon is expected to continue their aggressive push for exclusive content in the UK. In addition to beating of traditional broadcasters for the UK rights, Amazon went hard after, and came close to securing, the exclusive rights to Gotham, which ultimately landed at Channel 5. They are expected to acquire at least one more high profile US show from the upcoming season and recently released their latest wave of pilots, including Hand of God (pictured) which stars Dana Delany and Ron Perlman.
“Customers tell us that they love exclusive content and we see that these movies and TV shows almost always enter the Top 5 most watched lists immediately”, said Chris Bird, Film Strategy Director for Amazon Prime Instant Video UK. “Since exclusive content has continuously been among the most streamed, we are very happy to announce more highlights coming up this autumn such as the Amazon Studios original series Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor and Roman Coppola’s Mozart In The Jungle, and of course the third series of the cancelled popular British drama Ripper Street which we’re currently filming exclusively for Prime Instant Video customers and will launch later this year before broadcast on the BBC next year.”