Amazon Boosts Original Program Budget To Keep Up With Netflix

Earlier this year, Netflix kicked off an original programming arms race by announcing plans to raise $1.5Bn to fund new original content for the platform. This announcement represented an effective doubling of their total programming budget from $2.75Bn in 2014 to an estimated $5Bn in 2016 – Making them one of the largest media buyers in the U.S.; second only to ESPN.

Now, it seems, Amazon is no longer happy to sit on the sidelines while the race for original content goes on around them.

After seeing the success of series like ‘Orange Is The New Black,’ it’s clear that original content will be essential to the success of any streaming service. So Amazon have announced plans to “double down” on their original programming budget to keep up with this shifting industry tide.

“The reality is there’s lots of places to get videos. It’s a very competitive market, we need to provide something different,” Jay Marine, Amazon Instant Video Europe VP, told CNBC in a television interview.

He continued: “We’re going to continue to double down in that area and invest more to bring our customers worldwide more originals, and more great TV series that they have never been able to see before.”

Amazon’s existing investment isn’t exactly paltry. They spent $1.3Bn on programming in 2014, which included the funds to produce their Golden Globe winning series ‘Transparent’ as well as the series Woody Allen is writing and directing for the service that’s expected to première in 2016.

Another program in Amazon’s production pipeline is ‘Sneaky Pete,’ a drama pilot produced by Bryan Cranston (‘Malcolm In The Middle,’ ‘Breaking Bad’) and David Shore (‘NYPD Blue,’ ‘House’).

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what they do with an even larger investment in programming.

Stephen Doble

From his London office, Stephen leads our new media industry coverage at Videoter.

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