Amazon Scraps TV Show Focus Groups

May 30, 2013
Originally published on May 30, 2013 7:19 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, from the big screen to TV for our last word in business - which is scrap the focus group.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Amazon asked subscribers of its video-streaming service to do the jobs usually left to focus groups and executives. The company released 14 pilot TV shows, then looked at customer reviews and view counts. And now it is announcing the five pilots that will go on to having a full season.

GREENE: All right. And those include three children's programs and also a show called "Alphas." It's about four senators who rent a house together in Washington, D.C. It stars John Goodman and was created by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau.

MONTAGNE: And a show called "Betas," which follows four friends in the new social networking app they are developing. Amazon tried to get show ideas from users' submissions too. In 2010, it solicited scripts but none of those made the final cut.

GREENE: The five shows are the first original series Amazon will make. They're following in Netflix's footsteps. That online video streaming company released a new season of "Arrested Development" this weekend, to lackluster reviews.

MONTAGNE: And that caused Netflix stocks to drop a bit this week because their profits are crowd-sourced as well.

And that's the business news from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.