Reports indicate that streaming providers are angling to disrupt the traditional business model of Hollywood and ensure that they are able to offer highly popular content that would currently only be found in theatres and on pay television. Leaders in the online streaming sector, Netflix and Amazon, are aiming to achieve this by allocating more money to content production. New players such as Facebook and Apple will also help to further accelerate the trend.
In the case of Amazon reports have indicated that the co-founder and chief executive officer of the online retail giant, Jeff Bezos, has tasked the head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, with ramping up efforts to creating big-budget shows that rival Game of Thrones and which will enjoy a following around the world.
Due to the change in strategy where Amazon Studios will now focus on shows that have a global appeal, the plug has been pulled on the period drama known as Z: The Beginning of Everything. Before it was cancelled, the writing team of the show were working on the second season.
At the same time Amazon has signed up five new projects. These include a comic book adaptation which is being done by Seth Rogen, two comedy pilots, a comedy series and a period drama. Other projects that have been signed on for next year include Jack Ryan, an adaptation of a book written by Tom Clancy as well as a crime drama which stars Julianne Moore and Robert DeNiro. Earlier in the year Wall Street firm JPMorgan Chase claimed that Amazon’s budget for original content for 2017 was $4.5 billion.
According to Price, Amazon’s change of strategy and its new focus on the mass market is a result of comprehensive analysis stemming from user data.
“The biggest shows make the biggest difference around the world … We’re a mass-market brand. We have a lot of video customers and we need shows that move the needle at a high level,” the head of Amazon Studios said.
This lends credence to what the chief executive officer of Netflix, Reed Hastings, has previously said – that subscriptions always spike when major shows release new seasons.
Amazon is also reportedly bidding for James Bond franchise rights. Other bidders include Apple, Sony and Warner Bros. It is estimated that the value of the James Bond franchise is more than $2 billion. Netflix’s investments in big budget films include Bright, a $90 million movie which stars Will Smith.