Amazon’s pilot scheme is changing. For the last six years, the streaming service has shown a bunch of pilot episodes and left it up to viewers to vote on which became full series. But now Amazon is ending the voting system.
Instead, it will use its “own testing barometers and some user data” to gauge which shows should run for a full season.
However, it’s not turned its back on the voting system entirely. Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said the firm will “never say ‘never’” on reimplementing it.
Though perhaps this move is not all that significant. Increasingly, Amazon is developing series using a writers’ room. In the case of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, the firm greenlit a second series before even a single episode of the first had aired. It’s also committed to a multi-series deal for its Lord of the Rings show.
That’s all well and good for big-name properties, but smaller shows need time to develop and find their audience.
Albert Chang, Amazon’s co-head of television, says the pilot process took too long for viewers, who wanted instant gratification. Some of Amazon’s marquee series came through the pilot programme, including The Man in the High Castle and Transparent.