It’s been a long time coming, given the show premiered in the US last November, but Amazon is trying to make amends by releasing all 11 episodes from season one simultaneously. While Netflix pioneered this strategy for its own original shows, including House of Cards, Lilyhammer and Orange is the New Black, it’s not one that we’ve seen Amazon adopt so far.
When Betas debuted in the US, only the first three episodes were immediately available to Amazon customers. A single episode was then released each week, culminating in the season finale on January 17. It was a more traditional distribution model for TV shows, and so it’s notable that Amazon has adopted a different approach in the UK.
There could be a few contributing factors. Given the show ended in the US almost two months ago, the short window where fans discuss each episode individually has passed. Even if viewers avoided these discussions, spoilers are still rife on the Web – so releasing the entire season at once could help subscribers to negate the effect.
It’s also been less than a month since Amazon Prime Video launched in the UK. While it was essentially a rebrand for LOVEFiLM Instant, it’s now been incorporated into Amazon’s pricier Prime subscription service. The company needs to sell the concept to new customers in the UK – and new, original content will only help its cause. It’s quite possible that Amazon held Betas back in the UK specifically to support the launch of Prime Instant Video.
Betas, as a quick recap, follows four aspiring entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley as they develop a new dating app called ‘BRB’. It features Ed Begley Jr, who starred in Arrested Development, Joe Dinicol, Karan Soni, Jon Daly and Charlie Saxton.