Amazon's first original shows get premiere dates, episodes will air weekly
5th Nov 2013 | 12:25
Binge viewing is out as Amazon counters Netflix
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Lovefilm has informed TechRadar that premiere dates for Alpha House and Betas in the UK are yet to be confirmed.
Original story continues below...
Amazon's bold and expensive venture into original TV programming will kick-off in earnest this month with the premiere of the first two shows to make it past the pilot stage.
Alpha House, a political comedy starring John Goodman, will hit Amazon Instant Video in the US and possibly in the UK via Lovefilm (we're in the process of confirming that 100%) on November 15.
Meanwhile the somewhat-self-referential Betas, which centres on the adventures of a group of tech industry entrepreneurs, will begin a week later on November 22.
Each series will boast 11 episodes with the first three becoming instantly and freely available available on the premiere date, while the rest will follow at weekly intervals, for subscribers only.
Get 'em hooked and reel 'em in
The scheduling decision is interesting as it shows Amazon does not share the mindset of rival service Netflix, which prefers to dish out entire series at once, enabling users to consume at their leisure.
Amazon's approach is more in line with traditional television schedules, which prefer to keep viewers tuning in to a new episode each week.
The idea in Amazon's case is seems to be to get people hooked on the freebies to encourage them to sign up for Prime or Lovefilm.
Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios said: "We will release three episodes upfront for all customers so they can try out the shows and get to know the characters. Then we will release new episodes via Prime Instant Video week by week so that customers can chat about the shows and build up anticipation. We're constantly experimenting and trying new things - and we're eager to hear customers' feedback on this model."
Both Alpha House and Betas made it through a pilot stage where users we given access to 14 shows and asked to vote on which they wanted to see made into full series. Six series in all were greenlit and 11 new pilots will air next year.