Say what you want about working conditions at Amazon, but it certainly pays well. Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson will get a cool £800,000 an episode for his new TV show for the tech giant, according to reports in the Mirror. That’s £10m in total - 10 times his wage at the BBC.
Clarkson – and fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond, who will earn somewhat less – really has landed on his feet since departing the BBC following a ‘fracas’ with production staff over his culinary arrangements. Given the tough working environment Amazonians are reportedly used to, he should fit right in.
When Amazon nabbed the trio and producer Andy Wilman for £160m a month ago, boss Jeff Bezos said they were ‘very, very, very expensive... they are worth a lot, and they know it’. There’s a reason they’re worth quite so much to Bezos though. He’s not paying out millions just to keep the talent happy – this is all about Prime.
Bezos has been trying for years to convince users to upgrade to Amazon Prime, an all-in-one package that includes free one-day delivery (and cheap one-hour delivery in London, among other places) as well as access to music and film streaming.
The hope is that the hugely popular ex-Top Gear trio could draw people away from traditional TV and rival streamer Netflix to Prime. Like BT bidding for the Champions League and the Ashes, it’s a case of market share over profits, which of course makes it a classic Amazon move.
Whether it works remains to be seen. Either way, with remuneration packages like this, one might expect arguments over steaks to be somewhat less common on the set of the new show. For £10m, Clarkson can get his own fillet mignon couriered specially in (by Amazon Fresh, presumably).