Last week, new Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke invited several reporters to her office to talk about Amazon’s content strategy and how the e-commerce giant plans to grow its profile in the entertainment industry, The New York Times reports. Salke was previously the president of NBC Entertainment and joined Amazon in February; she is the successor of former Amazon Studios head Roy Price, who was ousted in 2017 amid s***** harassment allegations.
Through various interviews, Jennifer Salke shed light on how she aims to approach several key areas of Amazon’s entertainment business:
- For film, Amazon will focus on quality over quantity. Despite having deep pockets — the company had a $4.5 billion content budget in 2017 — Amazon will focus on creating 10 to 19 films annually, according to Deadline. Amazon hopes to mimic the success of its award-winning movies like “Manchester By The Sea” and “The Big Sick,” via homegrown productions and acquisitions. Amazon will release some films theatrically, while others will go straight to Amazon Prime Video. Comparatively, Netflix plans on releasing 80 original films in 2018.
- For TV content, Amazon is creating shows that have more mass appeal. The company is not going for content that is “small and niche,” Salke told the NYT. Previously, Price admitted Amazon’s programming was too narrowly targeted at certain audiences. Now, the company has new comedies planned, including “big, addictive shows for women,” according to Salke. Additionally, Amazon also aims to begin producing its anticipated “Lord of The Rings” series in 2021.
- For talent, Salke plans on leveraging her network and personally pursuing talent. Salke is friends with Dick Wolf, creator of the “Law and Order” franchise, and is talking to him about developing something together, for example. The new Amazon Studios head feels pressure to “build a stable of talented people,” per Variety, as the arms race to secure top talent ramps up among traditional studios like Warner Bros. and SVOD players like Netflix.
Ultimately, Amazon is hoping that these efforts will help the company curate content that will help make its Prime Video SVOD service more compelling to consumers. Eighty percent of consumers who have Amazon Prime Video via Amazon Prime indicated that they wouldn’t subscribe to the service if it didn’t come free with a Prime membership, per Business Insider Intelligence’s SVOD survey.
Respondents’ most cited reason (49%) was that they don’t use Amazon Prime Video enough to justify buying it as a stand-alone service. More blockbuster, award-winning content on Amazon Prime curated under the direction of Salke could help the company address low engagement and lure more Prime Video users.
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Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Amazon is banking its SVOD growth on a new studios boss (AMZN)