Amazon's Golden Globes give it new credibility in Hollywood

Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:17pm EST
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By Deepa Seetharaman and Piya Sinha-Roy

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Inc's success at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards may help it win over two key audiences: Hollywood’s A-list talent and the shopping customers the retailer wants to join its Prime membership program.

"Transparent", about a divorced parent who comes out as transgender to his three grown children, won a Golden Globe for best TV comedy while lead Jeffrey Tambor won for best actor. They are the first major wins for Amazon.

"It gives Amazon a way to go to the TV industry and say 'you do a show with us, you can win awards too,' whereas it couldn't say that a week ago," said Eric Deggans, TV Critic at NPR.

More importantly for Amazon, awards are a new calling card for Prime, its $99-a-year club known for two-day shipping, which the company sees key to growth.

On Thursday, Amazon will unveil 13 new pilots for programs that, like Transparent, will only be available for free on Prime.

In some cases, Amazon has pitched Prime primarily as a video service, a shift in marketing from the focus on shipping.

In a September survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, 10 percent of Prime members said unlimited instant streaming video was its most important feature, up from 7.9 percent in May 2013.

Prime members spend three times more on than other consumers, according to International Strategy and Investment Group analyst Greg Melich.   Continued...

Actors (from L) Sam Littlefield, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Aldis Hodge and Joe Lewis (R), Head of Original Programming at Amazon Studios, pose during Amazon's premiere screening of the TV series "Transparent" at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California, September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR46DQA