Content matters: Netflix sets sights on hip-hop nostalgia, while Amazon tags Jack Ryan for series

(Image source: Netflix)

As Amazon and Netflix lay out their slates of original content, it’s clear that competition for eyeballs between the two SVOD services is hotter than ever. Case in point: Amazon has ordered 10 episodes of a series featuring Tom Clancy’s best-known character, Jack Ryan, betting on an established fan base to bring in new subscribers.

Netflix managed an instant hit with Stranger Things, its thriller series released in July. But its latest globally-available show, The Get Down, may not do nearly so well, despite the SVOD provider putting a reported $120 million into the production.

Exact viewership of content on both Netflix and Amazon isn’t known. Neither provider reports those kind of details, leaving analyst firms to figure out the popularity of certain series by how much they’re being mentioned on social media. By those standards, Stranger Things went gangbusters, with the series becoming a word of mouth hit. (Of course, it helps when horror luminary Stephen King praises a show.) Media measurement firm Symphony AdvancedMedia estimated that in its first 17 days online, the series averaged 18.2 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic, according to a Guardian article.

The Get Down has been available for less than a week, so estimated viewership likely won’t be available for several more days. But reviews have been mixed for the series so far. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a success, if one measure success by whether Netflix announces another season; other pricey Netflix series like Marco Polo, which reportedly cost $90 million per season to produce, have had middling-to-bad reviews, yet it is still reportedly on track for a third season.

Meantime over at Amazon, fans of Tom Clancy’s iconic character Jack Ryan will get a series focused on the action hero’s early days with the CIA, with John Krasinski taking the role previously filled by Chris Pine, Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin. Shooting will take place in the U.S., Europe and Africa, according to a release, likely making it a bigger and costlier production than most of the retail giant’s other original content efforts. Amazon didn’t give an availability date for the series.

The company recently announced that it is doubling content spending in the second half of 2016 and will triple the number of original series it has available.

Other greenlights include American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, and Brittania, both slated to debut in 2017 in the U.S. and select countries. Amazon said in its second-quarter earnings release that the still-unnamed Woody Allen series it announced several months ago will debut in fall 2016. Good Girls Revolt, Goliath, and The Grand Tour are also scheduled to appear on the SVOD service in the fall.

For more:
- see this Forbes article
- see this Amazon release

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