Amazon released the first three episodes of its new show Alpha House last week. The company announced today that it was the most-watched show on Amazon over the weekend.
The series is written by Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Trudeau, and stars John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy.
The company has made the first three episodes free to all Amazon users, who can watch it on Amazon Instant Video, but if you like it, you're going to need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber to enjoy the rest of the show. Starting on Friday, Amazon will release one new episode per week, exclusively for Prime members (they are offering a free trial for Prime, however).
It will be interesting to see how this model works compared to Netflix's strategy of releasing all episodes of a show's season at once. Amazon could easily offer its episodes to non-Prime members at a price per episode like it does with other shows. That would give them an opportunity to get more viewers, but clearly they see it more as a way to get more Prime members instead.
“The Amazon Studios process is designed to use data and feedback from customers to help us create and launch shows they will love,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “It is incredibly rewarding to see that process working—customers loved the pilot and we’re getting the same reaction to the series. We’re excited to introduce Betas later this week.”
Betas, Amazon's second original series, will debut this Friday. It will follow the same strategy of thee free episodes followed by one per week for Prime members.