The hosts of Amazon Prime’s auto-focused flagship show, The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, have absolutely no idea how well the show is performing on the service – a far cry from their BBC Top Gear days when overnight viewing figures were closely scrutinised.
Days after the trio launched a car publication and forum with no affiliation to Amazon called DriveTribe, it has emerged that they have almost no idea how well the Grand Tour show is performing. This level of secrecy offers an insight into how well the e-commerce giant keeps a lid on the success (or failures) of its video platform.
The show, which drops episodically each week, is being used by Amazon to lure subscribers to its Prime subscription service, which is not reliant upon ad revenues in the way that linear TV is.
Even producer Andy Wilman has admitted that he will have to use Twitter to gauge the popularity of the Grand Tour, by monitoring the volume of user feedback on the site, and user sentiment made within these tweets.
Two episodes of the show are now live on Prime, available to viewers in around 200 countries, with more to come as programme makers and Amazon hope to generate longer term hype than they might through a bulk-launch – a strategy often employed by video-streaming rival Netflix.
The Guardian reports that under questioning Clarkson had the following to say about the viewing statistics: “I don’t know. You just don’t know, they did say millions.”
Meanwhile, co-star James May added: “They won’t tell us. That’s the rules and they really won’t.”