The new-media kings are turning to old media.
On Saturday, Amazon and Netflix both took out full-page ads in the New York Times for blockbuster Web TV series that they are each betting big on. The Amazon ad touted its dramatic comedy “Mozart in the Jungle,” whose first season will be available for streaming on December 23. A pilot episode appeared earlier this year. Netflix advertised “Marco Polo,” its expensive 10-episode series set in the 13th century that debuted earlier this month.
The ad placements come as TV lovers head home for the holidays and get ready to binge watch to their hearts content. The two shows come with big expectations but little in the way of positive buzz from critics. Both companies are banking on exclusive programming like these shows to help stand out in the increasingly competitive online video world.
Netflix, for one, may have to keep searching for its next “House of Cards.” “Marco Polo” has been called a “disappointment” by the New York Times, while Time bashed it as a “a sprawling mess.”
“Mozart in the Jungle” reviews have been mixed, though it did slip into New York Times critic Mike Hale’s Top 10 TV shows of 2014.
Of course, poor critic reviews don’t always translate into disappointing viewer numbers (viewers have given “Mozart in the Jungle’s” pilot episode a rating of 4.4 out of five stars, for example). Not that either company would say if they did.
(Hat tip to venture capitalist Chris Fralic, whose tweet first caught my eye.)
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.