Powerful and mysterious shipping retailer Amazon, having completed its conquest of the physical realm, has taken to total domination of the Internet. Netflix still maintains an unparalleled chokehold on the streaming market — #hip #teens aren’t running around tweeting about “Amazon Prime and chill” — but Amazon has locked down a sizable chunk of subscribers and asserted itself as a serious provider of quality entertainment with outstanding programs like Transparent and Mozart In The Jungle. With Transparent cleaning up at the Emmys, Amazon’s got the awards hardware and critical acclaim to demand serious respect. What parties curious about the infectious growth of online entertainment streaming have not been able to access, however, is hard numbers indicating whether or not this is all working.
Amazon made waves over the weekend when it formally released a statement on the streaming giant’s viewer data (albeit in the most general and vague capacity possible). Amazon announced that in the month since its release on November 20, spec-fic thriller The Man In The High Castle has climbed to the top of the charts to become the company’s most-streamed original series. Nowhere in Amazon’s press release are actual numbers mentioned, though it does note that the previous holder of this title was cop drama Bosch, recently renewed for a second season.
While it’s clear that streaming has effectively revolutionized how TV is produced, sold, released, and consumed, making specific observations about this movement is impossible without hard figures. For no other reason than because they can, major players like Netflix and Amazon have been reticent about their traffic, considering that information privileged to shareholders. At this point, all we can really do is choose to believe them when they tell us these things, and patiently await the day when regulations catch up to this burgeoning industry and create a reliable metric for measuring viewers.