Amazon may soon jump head first into creating its own original TV series content, that will presumably be exclusive to the company’s Prime streaming video service.
The reason for the speculation comes from the job title of new executive Joe Lewis Amazon recently hired. Yesterday, Lewis briefly listed his title with the company on LinkedIn as “Vice President of Original Television,” according to a report from Fortune. The title has since been changed to VP of Production at Amazon Studios. Also, Amazon posted job listings last month for someone to head up production on original comedy and children’s programming, as Gigaom first reported.
Lewis seems perfect for the role of producing original content for Amazon, should the news prove true. He’s previously worked as director of production at 20th Century Fox, Development Manager at Comedy Central, and former CEO of Bark Industries.
If Amazon is planning to get into producing original content, it would be following several other streaming video services. For instance, Netflix has recently launched its first original series Lilyhammer and has plans to launch Orange is the New Black later this year as well as prematurely canceled cult classic comedy show Arrested Development in 2013. Earlier this month, Hulu also launched its first scripted original series Battleground last month, as VentureBeat previously reported.
Amazon may want to start creating original series as a way to make its Prime membership more attractive to customers. The Prime service costs $79 per year and includes free two-day shipping on lots of items sold on the online retail giant’s website. At its core, the Prime membership’s purpose is to make purchasing items through Amazon more attractive, because people feel like they’re getting more of a deal since shipping fees aren’t factored into individual purchases. The streaming video component is mostly just complimentary, and not a direct competitor with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. However, with the addition of original content, that could soon change.