Amazon has had a content development division for some time but today it’s announced plans to expand from just movies to developing (and distributing, via its Instant Video service) original comedy and children’s series. The new focus follows the competition like Netflix and Hulu which have both dived headlong into developing original TV show-style content that mirrors the content consumers seem to gravitate towards on streaming services. According to the press release Amazon Studios is willing to option one “promising project” per month for $10k and pay $55k to a creator if their series is selected for distribution. Submissions of 22-minute pilot scripts for comedies and 11-minute pilot scripts for children’s shows are being accepted, which Amazon will either option within 45 days or the creator can choose between pulling it back and leaving it up for community feedback. There’s more info at the site or in the press release after the break, but just remember: if we see any series picked up about dashingly handsome tech bloggers and the fast-paced lives they lead, we’re coming for our cut.
Amazon Studios expands into TV series, looks to load up on content for streaming origin! ally app eared on Engadget on Wed, 02 May 2012 12:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
What makes us say that? Two pieces of evidence. Let’s take them in turn.
First, and most importantly, Joe Lewis—a new executive with Amazon based in Los Angeles—briefly listed his title as Vice President of Original Television at Amazon yesterday. It’s since been changed to Vice-President, Production at Amazon Studios, but the original posting certainly suggests that his position is focussed on producing new, original content.
Second, Wired reported last month that Amazon was “looking for television executives to develop original half-hour kids’ and comedy series for both online and traditional distribution”. At least, that’s according to a job advert that appeared online and was then passed around on Twitter.
Both scraps of evidence hint that Amazon is at least investigating the possibility of launching its own original content. Indeed, Joe Lewis sounds like just the man for the job: his Linkedin account points out that his previous experience includes stints as Director of Production at 20th Century Fox and Manager of Development at Comedy Central.
With so many online players deciding to take on the original TV challenge, it will be interesting to see what Amazon comes up with. Perhaps more importantly, it will be interesting to see whether it’s actually any good. [Fortune and Wired; Base Image: gothopotam]
Like Netflix and Hulu before it, Amazon has inked a deal with Viacom to bring TV shows from all its networks (MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, Spike, etc.) to the Prime streaming service. Beavis and Butthead marathon, anyone?
Amazon isn’t saying how many episodes will arrive in the deal, but they did say that Prime now has 15,000 movies and TV shows. But the bulk of their offering is god awful, so this new deal will help. Considerably. And now that Teen Mom is available, I think Sam might be one step closer to canceling his Netflix subscription. [Amazon]
LimeWire has been kaput as a file-sharing service since October but that hasn’t stopped its legal woes. Now, after settling with the RIAA to the tune of $105 million, the MPAA and a host of indie music labels have filed lawsuits against the company as well. Talk about beating a dead horse.
Six studios—Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, Comedy Partners, Disney, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Brothers—have filed suit, citing the court’s summary judgement in the RIAA case as basis for their claims. In that case, the court concluded that LimeWire “intentionally encouraged direct infringement.” Now, the court will have to decide LimeWire’s culpability in the illicit trade of movies and TV shows as well.
In addition, a group of independent record labels are arguing that, because of the same summary judgement, that they too are owed $105 million. There’s no word yet on how much the MPAA is asking for in damages, but if its anything near what it enjoy threatening the common user with, LimeWire’s going to need to find some deeper pockets. [Hollywood Reporter via Techdirt]
Image: Pakhnyushcha / Shutterstock
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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