Amazon Studios signed on for three new series from what it calls its “most-watched” pilot season ever which debuted on the streaming site Twitch in addition to Amazon Video recently. The dual debut is considered an unorthodox move heralding the most visible integration between the two services since Amazon's acquired Twitch for $970m two years ago, according to a recent article.
The two show were The Tick and Jean-Claude Van Johnson, and were likely selected to appeal to Twitch’s audience. The latter is an action comedy starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and the former is a goofy anti-superhero show.
“These Twitch broadcasts tap into the social video aspect of the platform by featuring a 24-hour live interactive period beginning with the ability for the community to provide feedback in chat and via a survey,” a Twitch spokesman says via email. “The showcase falls under the Twitch Specials program that is designed around providing new content experiences aligned with the interests of the community. It will also allow us to further test our closed captioning capabilities as we strive to make Twitch as accessible as possible.”
Amazon is betting on Jill Soloway, the director and executive producer of its Emmy-winning show Transparent, for a second time with I Love Dick. Soloway will serve as executive producer of the series, which centers on a troubled marriage. The show is an adaptation of a 1997 feminist novel by the same name.
According to the report, until now, Amazon’s influence on Twitch has been subtle. Shortly after the acquisition deal, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said Amazon’s offer was persuasive because it allowed the streaming company to maintain its independence.
But Twitch has evolved in the past two years, expanding beyond its core gaming content with new verticals like Twitch Creative. To celebrate the launch of that channel, Twitch streamed every episode of the famous PBS show The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. That marathon brought in 5.6m viewers. A few months later, Twitch rolled out its food channel with a 24/7 marathon of Julia Child’s iconic cooking show, The French Chef.
If Twitch wants to continue broadening its reach, then streaming a few Amazon Originals seems like a logical next step. It deepens the relationship between the two Amazon products and adds a new type of content for Twitch, the article suggests.