NBC’s Seeso Looks to Boost Audience Via Amazon Prime Deal

If/when NBC Universal succeeds at driving real audience retention to its first big niche channel “Seeso,” it will be a big signal that the online video industry has made it.

As we’ve seen with other platforms like go90, Vessel, and even YouTube, driving audiences to new products is a long-tail, slow-play game, and in many cases a losing uphill battle, like Samsung’s now defunct Milk Video. Today, Seeso announced a deal with Amazon Prime that may signal the business is needing to boost audience reach and retention. Now, Amazon Prime users will be able to opt-in to Seeso subscription.

Currently, “Seeso,” which is focused on comedy formats from feature length films, to comedy specials, TV-length series, and hyper-short form video for mobile viewing, has a freemium model designed to hook the viewer with free content, and convert them to watching full-run series behind a $3.99 pay wall.

According to a release, over 2,000 hours of Seeso’s library will be available on Amazon Video, which Amazon just announced would be available separately from Prime. The deal includes riginal series, “Bajillion Dollar Propertie$,” “The UCB Show” and “The Cyanide & Happiness Show,” as well as stand-up specials including “Cameron Esposito: Marriage Material,” and Seeso’s first scripted comedy “Flowers.”

Ben McLean, Senior Vice President, Digital Enterprises Business Operations & Strategy for NBCUniversal said in a release, “As the first standalone comedy offering, we’re excited to expand our reach to the Amazon Video community, giving them the best premium content — Original Series, stand-up specials and library video — across every screen.” The irony here is that with this deal, Seeso is no longer a “stand alone” comedy offering as it seemingly looks to extend its distribution reach to the 54 million subscribers in Amazon’s stable.