Amazon Studios on the Silver Screen

by Ruby-Ren Bond | Jan. 22, 2015

In keeping with its strategy to compete in the current OTT market, Amazon announced this month that it is adding original movies to its Amazon Studios productions. Currently, Amazon Prime Instant Video offers 7 original shows. In comparison, Netflix has 11 current original series, adopted and continued 5 series, produced 43 specials, miniseries, and films.

Roy Price, the VP of Amazon Studios, said in their press release that the goal is to produce 12 movies a year. This increase will bring Amazon Studios closer to Netflix’s production volume. The man Amazon has chosen to head up their new project is Ted Hope, the producer behind several Academy Award nominated movies.  

Unlike Netflix, Amazon plans to distribute its motion pictures through both theater and online channels. Amazon stated that it will release its movies to Prime Instant Video just 4-8 weeks after they’re shown in theaters, representing a significant shift in the windowing strategy that dominates movie distribution today. This approach will address a common complaint among online video consumers -- that users must wait for long periods of time before new releases are actually available online.

Although the success of this venture is unclear, the trend is apparent: OTT services will no longer subsist solely on licensing content. Original content allows OTT providers better control over the content rights and provides differentiation. With content producers like CBS and HBO starting up their own independent OTT services this year, the need among OTT services for something to set their services apart has never been more pressing. 



Next: Will HBO's Streaming-Only Service be a Pay-TV Killer?
Previous: Ready, Set, HBO GO: Premium Network to Offer Standalone OTT Service in 2015

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