2016 has been a big year for Amazon’s video streaming service thanks to its growing slate of original shows including, of course, The Grand Tour.
Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s new motoring show is hailed in the firm’s latest trends report as “the biggest” premiere on Amazon Prime Video and credited with helping drive the highest number of Prime sign-ups of “all previous days, with the exception of Amazon’s renowned Prime Day.”
While the show’s stars have denied the oft-reported £160m budget, the weekly move around the world and the all-4K filming proves Amazon has invested heavily in the series.
Of course it’s not done that just to please UK fans unhappy at the trio’s unplanned departure from Top Gear – The Grand Tour is being used to launch Prime Video as a standalone service in 200 new countries and the first of what’s bound to be an extensive range of official merchandise is already available to buy, helping to encourage fans to make their most of their Prime account’s free shipping perk.
But it’s not just The Grand Tour which is helping draw and retain audiences on Amazon’s streaming service.
The Man in the High Castle – previously Prime Video’s biggest debuting show until Clarkson & co arrived – was 2016’s most watched Amazon Original drama series and its second season’s premiere one of the most awaited TV moments of the year.
Other category topping shows include comedy series Transparent and original kids show Wishenpoof!
Amazon has made much of The Grand Tour’s high scoring reviews – the show has an overall rating of 9.5 on IMDb, has been rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by more than 5,000 UK customers and is basking in a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.
But while those scores may be impressive, they’re dwarfed by Transparent’s win of a BAFTA TV Award – the first BAFTA win for any streaming service’s show.
During Clarkson, Hammond and May’s tenure Top Gear won an International Emmy and was crowned the Most Popular Factual Programme in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011 at the UK National Television Awards.
Amazon bosses will surely be hoping that as well as boosting Prime subscription numbers and acting as the anchor show for Prime Video’s international roll-out, The Grand Tour can add to the tally of 80 award wins and almost 200 nominations notched-up so far by Amazon Original series.