Amazon original series to air mostly week-by-week

LOS ANGELES — Amazon is releasing its first two original series, but not all at once.

The online retailing giant says the first three episodes of “Alpha House” will be available for free online and through its mobile and game-console apps on Nov. 15. After that, Amazon.com Inc. will release one episode per week exclusively to subscribers of its $79-a-year free shipping service called Amazon Prime.

It’ll follow the same recipe for the release of “Betas” starting Nov. 22.

Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, said in a statement Monday that the schedule is meant to encourage customers to “chat about the shows and build up anticipation.” He also said he’s open to feedback on the new model.

Amazon.com Inc.’s video service competes with that of Netflix Inc., which releases an entire season at once of its original shows, like “House of Cards.” The all-at-once model allows Netflix streaming customers to potentially binge watch and then cancel their subscription in a single month. At Amazon, Prime subscriptions are paid one year at a time.

Amazon’s original series will have 11 episodes per season, compared with 13 for Netflix shows. On TV, seasons can run as short as 13 episodes — or even eight episodes like the last half season of “Breaking Bad” — to as many as 24 episodes, which is how many are in a typical season of “NCIS.”

Both originals are comedies. “Alpha House” is about four U.S. senators who are roommates, while “Betas” follows young tech entrepreneurs trying to create a new mobile social networking app.

The series were developed from a pilot program that Amazon kicked off in April.

The Seattle-based company put up 14 pilot episodes on its website and apps for customers to rate and review them. Amazon picked two comedies and three children’s shows to develop into full series based on the feedback. In a sign it likes that way of green-lighting series, last week the company said it would try out two more pilots, both hour-long dramas: “Bosch,” based on the Harry Bosch book series and “The After,” written by “The X-Files” creator Chris Carter.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

A decade after the recession, pain and fear linger

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Panel: Motorcycle industry in deep trouble and needs help

They have failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.

Costco rises as results display big-box retailer’s resiliency

Their model has worked in the face of heightened competition from online, brick-and-mortar peers.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Under cloud of ethics probes, Airbus CEO Enders to step down

He leaves in 2019 after 14 years. Meanwhile, aircraft division CEO Fabrice Bregier leaves in February.

$4.99 sandwich promotion irks some Subway business owners

Management insists that “most franchisees support the promotion.”

Most Read