Amazon has enjoyed solid returns on its investments in streaming live sports but its experiment with live music awards shows is more risky.
Prime Video Monday night will be the only place to see the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. It will air in a concert-like format with no commercials.
However, most awards shows have been struggling with year-over–year drops in ratings on broadcast stations. The question is whether or not fans will switch to streaming.
Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, stated that other live music events, such as a Ye benefit show in December and a Drake benefit show , demonstrate their interest in streaming content.
Salke said, “You can see it’s an area that we’re investing into, and we believe it helps create an exciting live opportunity to customers to be in a larger cultural moment around content they love.”
The streaming service was inspired by ACM’s reputation of having a fun, welcoming, and inclusive environment. It aimed to connect with the large number of country music fans who listen to Amazon Music. Prime Video will offer a performance-only version of the show for those who want a more music-focused experience.
Salke stated that “we feel pretty confident in the vast country music audience base…that we will be in able to invite many people in and they’re going out to have a great time,”
Hannah Avery, Kantar Entertainment on Demand’s client manager, stated that live streaming of NFL games on Amazon has attracted more viewers to the streaming service.
Avery stated that 4% of all new signups were due to the NFL, and this was in Q4 2021.
Avery stated that the type of live content is important. Avery stated that Paramount+ had streaming rights to the Grammys in last year, but this was not a factor that motivated new signups for that service.
The success of the streaming-only awards show will be measured by how many people watched it and how many new subscribers signed up to view it. Avery also noted that Prime Video will see long-term growth.
“If someone joins to watch something specific, how can you keep them engaged and not cancel?” Avery stated, and predicted that streaming live events will grow regardless of Amazon’s success.
R.A. Clark is the long-time producer of ACM Awards. He said that Amazon had challenged him to radically rethink the format of the awards show. The show will be shot in Allegiant Stadium and will have three stages, overhead spider cameras, action, graphics, and non-stop action.
The awards will not be distributed between songs but in segments. Each segment will consist of a 35-minute block of performances that is uninterrupted.
Clark stated, “It allowed me to throw out all of the conventions and put it back together and rearrange them.”
Prime Video content is completely commercial-free. This award show will feature a shoppable red carpet preshow with merchandise curated by Amazon Fashion.
“In the Amazon universe, we now have customers. Clark stated that it’s not a passive experience.
Streaming is the future for country music, according to Jimmie Allen, who is cohosting the show with Gabby Barrett, Dolly Parton and Gabby Barrett.
Allen said that it was a new concept, especially in country music. He will perform twice during the show. “As country music expands, there are many people who listen to hip-hop and pop music. They are used to getting things immediately and don’t wait.
Allen looks forward to the two hour show, even though there is less room for errors.
He joked that the ACMs this season were a lot like gambling: You go in fast and get out fast.”
Allen stated that the new streaming format will be less distracting for home fans.
Allen stated that the most important thing to do with a show is to keep viewers’ attention. He also advised against giving them the chance to change the channel. They might miss something if they switch it off.