Amazon Studios Greenlights Six Comedy Pilots

By Anthony Shields  DEC 21, 2012 12:16 PM

After a grueling selection process, the online company has chosen its first original content producers.


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL A few months ago, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that its Amazon Studios arm would be receiving submissions for original programming on its streaming service. As one might expect, the company was quickly flooded with more than 2,000 entries from aspiring television producers hoping to get their big break from this new opportunity. Now, after months of screening through the pilots, Amazon has finally chosen the six program that it will co-produce.
While most experts initially thought that this venture would be an exercise in “crowdsourcing” -- or that it would at least offer ordinary people a chance to make their own shows -- most of the television programs seem to be produced primarily by TV veterans or creative minds with previously established reputations. While the public might be disappointed that only one show is staffed by unknowns, this decision is bound to assure investors that Amazon is taking the selection process seriously and is trying to get the best talent possible.
The six programs are as follows: The new guys behind that last show are bound to feel the pressure of being compared to such accomplished producers -- but then again, so is Amazon. As previously stated, the media streaming
 industry is going be a big source of profits for Internet companies in the future, and the war to be at its head is in full swing. Every other streaming company has its own strategy to pull in customers: Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) can make entire seasons of shows available at once; Hulu subscribers can access most network TV shows; and YouTube (NASDAQ:GOOG) encourages independents to produce content for its site. As such, Amazon offering original content could be Amazon’s best bet at staying in the game.

While Amazon Prime is a well-valued service for other reasons, its video section is still a bit lacking. Worse, Netflix’s acquisition of the Disney (NYSE:DIS) license will most likely prohibit the service from getting big releases in the future, such as Marvel’s superhero films, the upcoming Star Wars movies, or even content from Disney’s television and movie studios. Amazon may be taking a gamble by investing in its own production studio, but if it keeps offering new opportunities to the best in the industry, the pay-off could be just what it needs.
No positions in stocks mentioned.