Amazon really wants to be a leader in the original content game. It’s well known that the company has sunk tons of resources into building up its roster of original programs, but until today we didn’t know just exactly how committed they were. Amazon doesn’t usually break down how it plans to spend its money between various divisions, but the company made a bold statement in yesterday’s quarterly investors call. Amazon has pledged $100 million to developing new content in the third quarter alone. That commitment will coincide with the release of Amazon’s latest slate of pilots.
Recently, Amazon has garnered a lot of media attention by finding buzzy creators and stars for their original series and to participate in the Amazon Pilots program. The program allows viewers to vote on which pilots get picked up to go to series rather than leaving that choice in the hands of executives. However, Amazon still hasn’t had a high profile hit like its nearest competitor Netflix. Despite a lot of attention paid to whom they’ve hired and what they’re making, Amazon has yet to nail down the same level of acclaim as competitor Netflix. Netflix, meanwhile, may have won the online video wars the day their name become a synonym for “lazy night in.”
Amazon is doing a credible job of catching up to their prestigious rival. The company premiered two brand new children’s series last quarter and gave the green light to six new series based on Amazon Pilots results. Those series, “Bosch,” “Mozart In The Jungle,” “ The After” and “Transparent,” and kids shows “Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street”and “Wishenpoof,”are expected to premier in the next few months. Amazon also committed to five new pilots, “Hysteria,” “Really,” “Hand of God,” “The Cosmopolitans” and “Red Oaks.” The teams behind those new pilots will probably be pleased to hear that Netflix is rolling out big money just in time for their launch, but the it remains to be seen whether Amazon’s long awaited hit is among them.
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