Why it matters: With so much competition from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and others, creating pilots, waiting for viewer feedback then subjecting them to long waits is no longer tenable. Amazon needs to be nimble and getting rid of these unnecessary steps will allow the company to do just that.
Amazon has brought an end to its unique democratic twist on content creation.
The e-commerce giant has been producing original programming for the past six years but put its own spin on the process. Rather than decide internally what shows get made or producing pilots in the traditional sense, it wasn’t uncommon for Amazon to put out a pilot for viewers to leave feedback on.
If a show elicited a positive response, like Man in the High Castle, it’d stand a much better chance of getting greenlit by Amazon.
The problem with this approach wasn’t so much the viewer feedback aspect, as Amazon’s co-head of TV, Albert Chang, notes, but rather the tradition of producing pilots in general. Creating a pilot slowed down the whole process; viewers would watch it, get hooked then have to wait a long time for the show to get picked up, produced and released.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said they’ll now use their own testing barometers and some user data but the public voting process has been set aside for now.
In other words, Amazon is going to be leaning more heavily on straight-to-series orders that bypass the timely pilot process entirely.
It's an interesting change in direction as less than a year ago, Amazon was still singing the praises of the customer feedback approach.