Amazon Studios director Roy Price explains why certain shows succeed, whether to launch every episode of a show at the same time, how much a good show costs, and the difference between good TV then and now.
Two years ago, Amazon (AMZN) started developing television content. In the past year, the company produced 24 pilots, which, according to Amazon Studios director Roy Price, is more than a typical broadcast network will prepare for primetime in a year.
Four of the five comedy and drama shows that Amazon debuted on Feb. 6 will be made into a series. They include Transparent, a dark comedy about an L.A. family with a father who is transitioning genders; Mozart in the Jungle, a comedy set amid the dramas of life in a New York orchestra; The After, a sci-fi drama from the creator of The X-Files; and Bosch, a drama based on books by the detective novelist Michael Connelly. Alpha House, released last year, will get a second season.
Fortune spoke with Price on May 13 at Wired’s BizCon in New York about how to make good TV and why it makes sense for Amazon.
I came to start the digital video store, at the time the DVD store. The question was, How are we going to approach the digital side of the video business? Those were the days when, I can remember one studio head saying to me, “You know, I can tell you one thing: No one is ever going to download one of our movies.” And you know, eight months later you have a deal with them, but it was a period of transition.
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