As Amazon tries to play catch-up with Netflix by streaming its first original series, it’s diverting from Netflix’s playbook in one major way: instead of releasing Alpha House’s entire first season at once a la House of Cards, Amazon will make the first three episodes available at once, and then debut one new episode each week. As I wrote at Quartz,
Amazon Studios Director Roy Price said it opted for a weekly release schedule “so that customers can chat about the shows and build up anticipation,” adding that the Netflix release model kills the conversation and buildup that surrounds a traditional release of a TV show. Since Netflix refuses to release any ratings data on its programming, there is no way to tell how many people have actually viewed its original series, or how many debut episodes were viewed as compared those later in the season.
If Amazon can keep viewers enthusiastic about its new shows for weeks and months on end, it might be able to beat Netflix at its own game.