Amazon wants a House of Cards of its own.
The digital retailer and streamer of programming through its Prime Instant Video service is hoping to seduce binge watchers by creating original content, treading a similar path forged by Netflix to swelling viewership and artistic acclaim.
But Amazon will not rely on network executives to program its airwaves, because viewers themselves have been tasked to decide which series will get the green light.
For the second year in a row, the company’s production arm, Amazon Studios, has released 10 pilots for free online streaming, sponsored by Geico. Viewers will have approximately two months to rate, criticize and opine, upon which Amazon will proceed with production based on crowdsourced feedback.
While last April’s initial run featured eight comedies and six children’s shows, this is the first time that the company is tossing hour-long dramas into the mix in hopes of conceiving a flagship series of its own. These include cop drama Bosch and post-apocalyptic The After, from the creator of The X-Files.
Budgets and production value are on par with that of network competitors, Ron Price, director of Amazon Studios, told The Verge.
This year’s batch of shows also includes three more comedies and five additional kids’ series. Last year’s running yielded Alpha House and Betas, about dating app developers in California seeking an investor, though neither resonated to the extent of Netflix’s award-winning hits like Cards and Orange Is the New Black.