Amazon is joining the likes of Netflix by giving the green light to five original series which will soon be streaming on their Prime Instant Video service. With Arrested Development’s return on Netflix, the idea of streaming original content on a website is becoming widely popular and quite successful. Amazon has taken it one step further by actually creating new content to stream on your favorite compatible device (perhaps a Kindle?) Created in 2010, Amazon Studios allows members to not only watch pilots of shows and movies and then provide feedback, but it also allows people to submit original scripts and ideas for a show or movie. If a show or movie proves to be successful, Amazon Studios will go on to produce said programming. Amazon has also partnered with Warner Bros. for a “first look deal.” This means that theatrical movies produced by Amazon will get looked at by Warner Bros. to see if they have Movie Theater potential.
From start to finish, Amazon’s audience has a say in what programming they want to see through Amazon Studios. Not only is Amazon engaging with audience members before a series or movie is put into full production, but they are making the viewing process completely consumer centric. Consumers can write scripts (and get paid if successful), view pilots, provide feedback, follow the progress of the show and then view their favorite series that they helped to become a reality, all through Amazon.com. And this holds true for the five original series that Amazon is set to begin streaming later this year through Prime Instant Video, which does require an annual membership fee of $79/year. The shows include three children’s programs and two comedies, all which were turned into series because of positive feedback from viewers.
With more and more consumers watching shows via untraditional means like tablets and smartphones, it will be interesting to see how viewers react to Amazon’s original content, and how Amazon’s success or failure will affect other online companies’ interest in producing their own original programming.
To see the promo for “Alpha House,” one of Amazon’s original series about four senators who share a house in D.C., starring John Goodman, click here: http://studios.amazon.com/projects/17107