As streaming platforms prep for NBCUniveral’s Peacock and HBO Max’s entrance into the space, Amazon Prime Video’s content strategy is simple:
“We really try not to pay attention to the competition,” head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said during the streamer’s session at winter TCA on Tuesday.
Instead, Amazon is focusing on carefully curating its content to enhance, drive and attract new subscribers to its overall business. Although its original offerings like Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel have garnered multiple Emmy and Golden Globe wins, Amazon remains focused on its other businesses and services.
“We find ourselves saying ‘customer’ a lot. We never said those things before in our previous incarnations. But then you actually get in there and then you realize, we do have a very different model,” Salke said.
As Amazon continues to develop original content, the streamer is focused on quality over quantity, execs revealed. It’s all about great ideas, and the streamer will support as many stories that come through the door—as long as they believe in it.
“Remember, we market everything. We’re not interested in buying shows and not have anyone know they’re there. That would be a failure,” Salke said.
Making the Cut, the new reality competition series from Project Runway’s Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, will be the first to enhance Amazon’s defined strategy. The series, which searches for the next global fashion icon, will partner with Amazon Fashion to make the show’s winning outfits available for purchase in over 200 territories after each episode.
Klum says the concept was “very appealing,” and made Amazon Prime Video the perfect fit for the series.
“You can design as many clothes as you want, but it becomes real when someone is wearing them… we wanted it to be real for these designers and for people at home,” Klum said.
Here’s more of what we learned during Amazon’s session at winter TCA:
Lord of the Rings announces 13 cast members who will play…people
Amazon execs brought little insight on the most anticipated show of the day, the J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation series. However, production on the eight-episode first season begins next month in New Zealand.
The streamer unveiled the 13 cast members after news that Bandersnatch star Will Poulter would no longer work on the project. New additions include Owain Arthur (Casualty) and Nazanin Boniadi (Counterpart), who join Robert Aramayo (Game of Thrones), Tom Budge (The Wrong Girl), Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials), Ismael Cruz Córdova (Ray Donovan), and Markella Kavenagh (Picnic at Hanging Rock). There’s no word on the species each cast member will play but known options are hobbit, elf, dwarf, human, wizard, goblin and orc.
Jack Reacher Series a Go
Amazon has given a series order to Jack Reacher, a drama based on the best-selling series of novels by Lee Child. A premiere date has not been announced, however, creators are in search for the “perfect person” to play the title role, which has been occupied by Tom Cruise in the feature films.
“We really are determined to find somebody who an embody that character for Lee and for all of us,” Salke said. “You may see us take our time really making sure we find that person, whether they exist in our purview or they are new discoveries from somewhere. We are going to do an extensive exploration of who can fit into those shoes.”
Meagan Good to star in Untitled Tracy Oliver Project
Good, Grace Byers, Jerrie Johnson and Shoniqua Shandai will star in the half-hour comedy series from Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip), Universal Television, and Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions.
The series follows four black friends from college “as they navigate sex, relationships and chasing their dreams,” the streamer said. Singer, songwriter and former Promax speaker Pharrell Williams is on board as an executive producer, and Amazon execs are “hopeful” that he will develop original music for the series.
Daisy Jones and the Six Has Seven Original Songs
While Amazon conducts a global search for the book adaption’s titular character, Amazon execs listened to the series’ original music at the studio Fleetwood Mac recorded at, which led to “chills and tears,” Salke said.
12 Years A Slave’s Steve McQueen to Develop New Series
On the heels of creating the BBC Studios-produced anthology Small Axe, McQueen will develop a sci-fi series for Amazon Studios, Last Days.
“It’s a big, ambitious idea… he wanted something that felt relevant to him and what he’s been thinking about,” Salke said on stage. “The idea is that a group of people are dispatched to space to live there while this planet is declining rapidly.”
Amazon also unveiled development deals with Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Cortes Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.