As its battle for original content against Netflix and premium television channels like HBO heats up, Amazon is working hard to attract new talent to produce original television content for Prime Instant Video. The company has already launched two comedies – “Alpha House” and “Betas” – and is slated to run a new host of shows this fall.
But the company is in a crowded marketplace: in addition to competing with other web video platforms, Amazon is also seeking content that might otherwise find a home on a traditional television network. Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that Amazon has an ace up its sleeve when it comes to attracting great shows.
“We give the shows the resources they need to be great,” he said. “And Amazon can reach out to the audience. For a show like Transparent, there is an audience out there that we can speak to and reach out to [via Amazon]. One other factor is that shows at Amazon don’t get canceled. There’s no scenario where you create three episodes and then we cancel your show. You’re going be able to follow through and do the whole season as planned.”
Price clearly hopes the freedom Amazon offers will encourage top-notch creators to leave traditional networks behind. In addition to providing creators with resources, Price said that Amazon doesn’t publish ratings for each show because he doesn’t “want the producers second-guessing themselves or thinking about their show on a meta level.”
That creator-focused approach is similar to what Netflix has offered producers of its original content. Piper Kerman, whose memoir “Orange is the New Black” turned into a show on Netflix, said last year that showrunner Jenji Kohan was attracted to the online video company because of the freedom it offered. “Orange” has been both a critical and popular success, and is nominated for 12 Emmy awards.
Meanwhile, Amazon has been left out of the awards spotlight, at least for now. The company is slated to release new original shows this year, and the early glimpses the company has offered at their pilots are encouraging.