Amazon is forging ahead with its entertainment ambitions. The massive e-tailing specialist announced plans to produce 12 films for cinemas and its Prime Instant Video subscribers each year, reports Reuters.
Amazon Original Movies
The online retail giant's push towards big screen entertainment will see the resulting films appear on its Prime video service in the US around four to eight weeks after their theatrical debut, drastically faster than the standard 39 to 52 weeks wait its customers wait to stream Hollywood releases. The company wishes to produce films with a "focus on unique stories, voices and characters from top and up-and-coming creators." It will be kicking off with work on the first such title starting later in 2015.
Amazon describes the projects as 'indie' films, each with budgets between $5 million and $25 million and has hired Ted Hope to lead the creative development process of three upcoming films. However, the short wait for these films to land on subscription video services may cause concerns with cinema companies, as it potentially encourages viewers to stay at home and wait, thus impacting ticket sales.
Golden Globe success
The news shows Amazon's determination to make it big in digital media, coming just days after the online retailer signed Woody Allen to write and direct his first-ever TV series. It launched Amazon Studios in 2010 to fund and develop new shows with a goal to build a catalogue of original and exclusive shows to entice people to sign up to Prime.
Even though the Amazon seems to lag behind competitor Netflix with original series, its show 'Transparent' managed to win acclaim at the Golden Globes. The win marks the first time that a best-series award in the television category was presented to a streaming service at the Globes.
The Amazon Original Movies will be ammunition in Amazon's battle with Netflix. However Netflix has recently announced film deals with Adam Sandler to star and produce four films to be shown exclusively on its service. Furthermore Netflix said it would release a sequel to the acclaimed film 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' around the globe.
It will be interesting to see the results of Amazon's efforts, and whether the quality of the content would be hindered by its ambitious goal to create 12 titles a year.