Amazon has been discreet about how many total Prime subscribers they have, and why not? Revealing their numbers could prove valuable for competitors such as Netflix and Hulu. But Reuters recently obtained a set of documents that describes not only Prime subscriber numbers, but also proprietary information such as how Amazon ranks their original programming.
According to the documents Amazon has about 26 million Prime subscribers. That’s half the amount Netflix claims at 54 million subs, but twice as many as Hulu’s 17 million subscribers.
Furthermore, there was quite a bit of speculation about why Amazon cancels and renews original series. But it turns out there really isn’t much of a mystery at all about it except for how much a show costs per new subscriber. Essentially, “Amazon divides a show’s production and marketing expenses by the number of people who stream that program first after signing up” — the lower the better.
For example, “The Man in the High Castle” cost $72M to produce and had 8 million U.S. viewers as of early 2017, attracting 1.15 million new subscribers. Calculations show that the series brought in new Prime subscribers at an average cost of $63 each.
This Reuters Graphic breaks down by 10 different shows into Production/Marketing Cost and Cost Per First Stream.
“Core to Amazon’s strategy is the use of video to convert viewers into shoppers,” said Reuters’ Jeffrey Dastin.
Amazon hasn’t responded to requests from news publications for comment or clarification.
Read more at Reuters.
[Editor’s Note: This article was re-organized after publishing for clarity.]