Amazon pushes in all the chips on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The Future. Amazon is hoping (and working hard to ensure) that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which debuts this week, is by far the biggest success in Prime Video history. If the show is an unmitigated hit, it will fulfill former CEO Jeff Bezos’ dream for Amazon to have its own Game of Thrones. Amazon has never revealed viewership numbers in the past, but if the debut is bigger than HBO’s House of the Dragon, Amazon may finally make an exception to bask in the bragging rights.
One show to rule them all
According to Insider, Amazon Prime needs its upcoming The Rings of Power to be a hit.
- The Stakes. Amazon has reportedly spent $1 billion on the series so far ($250 million to secure the rights, $460 million on actually making the shows, and hundreds of millions more to market and promote).
- That’s ultimately small potatoes for the retail giant, but it is the most expensive series ever made. Oh, and four more seasons are planned (but only two seasons have been greenlit).
- The Stress. Insiders report that the show needs to be Amazon’s biggest show by a wide margin, especially since Prime Video has never had a true breakout hit (The Boys is the closest).
- If it’s not, a former top Amazon exec said bluntly: “If we can’t take this piece of IP and make it successful, why is Amazon Studios even here?”
- The Success. Besides high viewership, Amazon is also looking at overall Prime Video consumption or PVC (people that watch the show will likely watch other content), whether it re-engages subscribers who haven’t watched something on Prime for over 30 days, and how many new people subscribe to watch the show.
- For those points of success to really matter, all the metrics need to be high because of how expensive the show is — they all need to justify the expense.
Into the mines of metrics
While the success of the show — and we’re talking hard data here — will be known within Amazon, the public will never be aware of it (Amazon doesn’t disclose viewership numbers… many times, not even to the creators of the shows). But keep an eye out for tell-tale signs like a quick renewal for additional seasons or near-endless marketing of the show across Amazon’s other verticals.
Luckily, reviews for The Rings of Power are already very positive. It’s no wonder then that Amazon raised the Prime subscription price earlier this year — according to a Morgan Stanley survey, Prime Video is the second biggest reason why people sign up for Prime. Amazon (and all of its data forecasters) must be feeling pretty good.