Amazon has never officially released viewing figures for The Grand Tour and has always refused to comment on whether the blockbuster show even covered its own costs, but leaked documents suggest that it pulled in more than enough new customers to make a profit.
The leak, which comes (rather suspiciously) less than two weeks after the rumour mill started to whisper – well, it was more like screaming – that The Grand Tour was about to be cancelled, shows that the car show cost $49 per new Prime Video subscriber that it brought in. That makes it, by this measure at least, the best-value show the company has produced.
That figure was calculated by dividing the show’s production costs by the number of new subscribers who chose to stream The Grand Tour as their first show after signing up, suggesting it was the one that really hooked those people in.
A typical full Prime subscription fee is set at $99 per year in the US, £79 in the UK and comparable amounts elsewhere in Europe and Asia. Prime Instant Video subscriptions are also available; they don’t include next-day delivery on general goods but they’re barely any cheaper.
Effectively, that means that – in theory, and with the only numbers we have – new subscribers to Prime easily paid series one of the show’s production costs. We don’t have details for series two, but another Amazon original production, the first series of The Man in the High Castle, was almost as cost-effective as The Grand Tour’s opener.
Industry analysts reportedly think that Amazon has about 75 million Prime-subscribed customers worldwide, and that half the households in the US include a resident with Prime membership.