Word has quietly been leaking out over the past few weeks that Amazon.com plans to expand into original video content, following the path of Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and other Web video giants. Today, the company announced a key move in that arena.
Amazon Studios has begun taking submission for video Web series in the comedy and children’s programming categories.
Those who have the next great show can submit a five-page description and a 22-minute pilot script for comedies (11-minutes for children’s shows) to Amazon Studios. Projects chosen for the development stage will receive an initial $10,000. If Amazon selects the show for wider distribution via Amazon Instant Video and a full series production, content creators receive $55,000, plus five percent of net receipts related to toy and t-shirt licensing.
“Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love,” said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. “In the course of developing movies, we’ve heard a lot of interest from content creators who want to develop original series in the comedy and children’s genres. We are excited to bring writers, animators and directors this new opportunity to develop original series.”
Amazon’s new content strategy is being led by Joe Lewis, a veteran of 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central, and Tara Sorensen, formerly with National Geographic Kids. The Amazon Studios unit launched in November of 2010, and since then the company has received more than 7,000 scripts. At this point, 15 movie projects are under development.
More on the program here.