The success of a major new Amazon Prime series could spell profit or doom for the studio.
The success of Amazon Prime Video’s new The Lord of the Rings series is going to affect the future of the streaming platform.
Amazon insiders speaking with Insider say that if the series fails it may spell a negative future for the company.
“The reason why it’s going to succeed is because the executives at Amazon need it to succeed. If it doesn’t succeed, there’s going to be a big question from Andy Jassy and the board. If we can’t take this piece of IP and make it successful, why is Amazon Studios even here? It has to succeed. There’s no option,” they said.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is one of the most expensive television shows in history. Amazon purchased the rights to produce it from the estate of Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien for $250 million in November 2017 and subsequently spent more than $1 billion to produce the five-season series.
Why it’s important
The streaming industry is in an awkward position at the moment as it is accruing some of its most impressive numbers ever despite financial issues and fierce competition.
As we previously reported, Americans are spending more time watching streaming content than cable content. Netflix has nearly 221 million subscribers. Disney+ has more than 152 million subscribers. Amazon Prime Video has over 77.3 million subscribers, and HBO Max has at least 76.8 million subscribers.
HBO Max recently celebrated their most successful premiere in history with their new fantasy series The House of the Dragon, a prequel to their critically and financially acclaimed series Game of Thrones.
The success came in the aftermath of the service firing 14% of its staff and canceling several major films like Batgirl and Scoop: Holiday Haunt.
Netflix is also facing similar pressure, saying they are looking to spend less money on expensive vanity projects like The Irishman and more on more financially successful content.
“With subscribers declining and competitors on the rise, Netflix has had to find ways to compensate and adjust to the State of Streaming in 2022. One way they plan to do that, executives said, is to make ‘bigger and better’ movies, ultimately releasing fewer overall than the excessive output they’ve accrued in recent years,” says Consequence of Film.
Streaming services are buckling under the pressure to deliver expensive and eye-catching content. If The Rings of Power does not deliver a sizable audience share, Amazon Prime could be the first major streaming service to be forced to restructure or cease productions on original content.