I returned to CNBC’s Squawk Alley today, talking about Amazon’s new round of pilots, which were released this morning, and my recent Quartz interview with Amazon Studios director Roy Price. Here’s a clip from my segment:
I was back on WBAL Radio’s Maryland’s News Now, on Aug. 13, talking about my recent Quartz interview with Amazon Studios director Roy Price and how Amazon is gunning for Netflix. Here’s a clip from my appearance:
As Amazon prepares to launch its third pilot season, I had a lengthy chat with Amazon Studios director Roy Price about his company’s strategy, measuring success, his terrific new series Transparent and competing with Netflix. He answered so many of my questions about Amazon, including what defines a successful series for them:
The main thing we’re focusing on is making Prime fantastic. And one of the things people really respond to is original new series, so we’re paying attention to, are people engaged with the show? Does it add value to the service as a whole? So it’s about views, and talking about the shows, and if you watch the whole season, how did you rate the show…Basically, do people really seem to value the show as part of the service?
Last year, we premiered Alpha House and Betas, and they premiered at, and hung around at, the number one and two series for awhile, so that’s very encouraging, because it shows that people are really getting into it and heavily sampling the shows. That’s the kind of thing we want to see, that it becomes a meaningful part of the value that the service provides. Ultimately, you’d like to see more people joining the service, and you’d like to see that people who watch the shows and enjoy the shows renew their subscription.
Price, who was a terrific interview, also talked about Amazon’s rationale for not disclosing ratings, how the public pilot process really works and whether Amazon considered picking up beloved-but-canceled shows like Community and Enlisted.
That’s a wrap on TCA summer press tour, which means that it’s time for one last story before I leave L.A.: a roundup of noteworthy developments from press tour, which reveal several new truths about the TV industry. Chief among them: Nothing is a ratings guarantee — except football.
Somewhere in the vicinity of 100 shows were paneled at press tour, but as CBS president and CEO Les Moonves pointed out, “When you come back next year, not all of them are still going to be on the air. Even ours. However, this is a sure thing.” He was referring to Thursday Night Football, which is moving to CBS for the first eight weeks of the NFL season (after which it will return to NFL Network, where it has aired since 2006).
As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell noted, “Sunday Night Football is now the number one franchise in all of television. Not just in sports, but in all of television.” Sunday Night Football was indeed the top-rated show on TV last season, averaging 21.5 million viewers. CBS and Fox’s Sunday afternoon broadcasts draw a similarly-sized audience, while ESPN’s Monday Night Football averaged 13.7 million viewers. And the Super Bowl is always the most-watched program each year, with a record 112.2 million viewers tuning in last February. As such, Goodell expects that Thursday Night Football will be “the biggest thing” to happen on TV this season.
There’s lots more about 3D TV, 4K TV, Hulu, Amazon, binge-watching, late-night and series based on comic books. Take a look; now that press tour is over, I’m going to sleep for several days!