Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Celebrate our 5th anniversary and—for one week only—get the best tech and business reporting for $100 off—just $299/year.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Media Amazon

Despite Hype, Originals Are Still Risky for Netflix and Amazon

When CBS CEO Les Moonves took a jab at original shows being made by services like Netflix last week, saying “You need a great explorer like Marco Polo to find the actual audiences” for such shows, it was easy to assume the comment was grounded in some jealousy about the attention the shows are getting. Particularly as he highlighted how well CBS’ shows were doing when available on the same services.

But Mr. Moonves had a point. While there’s no data on how many people are watching the fast-growing list of originals—like “Marco Polo” and “House of Cards” on Netflix along with “Transparent” and “Bosch” on Amazon—there’s no disputing that these shows account for a minority of total programming hours and almost certainly a minority of total viewing.

What Is The Information?

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting, stories, and exclusives you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Go deep into areas like crypto and VC diversity—or get real-time analysis of breaking news—via conference calls with our reporters and other experts.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, subscribers get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

Access the best reporting on the tech industry read by tens of thousands of global executives.

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Share with your team

Subscribers can unlock any article and share it with friends and co-workers through a special share link.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Asia Entertainment

To Go Global, Netflix Sends U.S. Writers to Foreign Shores

By Beejoli Shah

Facebook Entertainment

The Tech Industry: 2013 through 2018

By Jessica E. Lessin

Venture Capital Startups

How Robotics Maker Rethink Crashed and Burned

By Kevin McLaughlin


To Rebuild Trust, Facebook’s Zuckerberg Looked to Microsoft

By Nick Wingfield

Hulu is thought to have paid around $130 million, or around $700,000 an episode, for subscription streaming rights to “Seinfeld,” a show already online on Sony’s Crackle service and which has been on rerun cycles on television for more than a decade.