Amazon may have been secretive about how well its Prime Video has been doing worldwide, but leaked documents obtained by Reuters reveals the company’s bet on original programming is paying off. Around 26 million customers in the US watched Prime Video from 2014 to early 2017.
The documents also reveal metrics for 19 Amazon exclusive shows. These metrics, which have never been reported before, includes their cost, viewership, number of people they helped subscribe to Prime and more. Analysts estimate that these Prime Original shows account for around a quarter of total Prime sign-ups from late 2014 to early 2017.
Prime Video has been one of the biggest expenditures at $5 billion per year, according to Reuter’s sources, but the documents reveal that the high costs actually do help in converting video watchers into online shoppers. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had openly admitted that it uses entertainment to drive people to buy more merchandise.
Bezos told Reuters that film and TV viewers renew their subscriptions and convert from free trials at higher rates, than members who do not stream videos on Prime.
Essentially, according to Reuters, Amazon looks at the first show that a subscriber has streamed after their sign up and then calculates how expensive it was to acquire the viewer by dividing the cost of making the show by the number of ‘first streams’ it had.
The documents however do not reveal how profitable Amazon’s video business is.
Amazon’s exclusive motoring series, “The Grand Tour” has been particularly notable of having more than 1.5 million first streams for Prime members worldwide, at $49 per subscriber in the first season.
In comparison to the 26 million US subscribers of Prime Video, Netflix had more viewers than Amazon in the first quarter of last year. Although it is not known how many of them were active viewers.