Amazon said that the total viewership for NFL Thursday Night Football rose by 24% over the previous season, with the November 30 game between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys marking a high point with 15.3 million viewers.
The numbers came out of Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings report, in which the company posted a profit of $10.62 billion, or $1.03 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $278 million, or 3 cents a share. Revenue rose 14% to $169.96 billion.
While the blurb on Prime Video was relatively short, it remains a critical part of the company’s Prime subscription service, headlined by free and fast shipping. Thursday Night Football represented a big bet by Amazon to draw in new viewers, and represents just one of many examples of streaming services turning to live sports as a potential draw.
The company added that it also posted 14% growth in viewership among the 18-to-34-year-old demographic, which is key for advertisers.
The company on Monday began inserting ads into its Prime Video service in a bid to turn a profit on the business. Andrew Bennett, vice president and head of video partnership at Amazon, told Cord Cutters News that there would be fewer ads than on traditional TV and rival services, but that it would iterate quickly based on user data. Subscribers will have to pay $2.99 a month to opt out of the ads.
Overall, the company posted strong results, driven by a surge in holiday sales and continued strength in its AWS cloud services business. Analysts, on average, forecast earnings of 80 cents a share on revenue of $166.21 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.