Amazon to Start Producing its Own TV Shows

Amazon is about to jump into the world of original television content with its own comedies and children-based shows. The shows will be distributed through Amazon’s own Instant Video online streaming service.

Amazon is on the hunt for original scripts with plans to try out a new project every month, and shows that audiences like could get picked up as regular series. “Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love,” said Amazon Studios director Roy Price.

Amazon to produce its own TV showsAmazon to produce its own TV shows

Shows that are picked up and run as a series will earn the makers US$55,000, royalties, and up to 5 percent of the sales from t-shirt and toy licensing.

The move to online TV shows doesn’t come as a big surprise since Amazon Studios launched in November 2010 and has been reviewing test movies and scripts ever since. Amazon studios currently has 15 movie projects in the works, and it looks like it will have a few TV shows soon, too.

The move will help Amazon better compete with Netflix and its plans for original shows such as the upcoming series “Lilyhammer.” Hulu is planning on getting into the original content game, as well, and has already announced several shows.

Apple was once rumored to be planning on bringing its own original shows to the Apple TV, although the company hasn’t done so — at least not yet.

Making the jump to original programming also puts Amazon and Netflix in direct competition with the big name studios and could potentially upset cable service providers. Cable companies such as Comcast have distribution deals in place with studios and networks, and Amazon and Netflix are sidestepping that revenue stream with their own online offerings.

The traditional TV entertainment model is under attack from even more places, too. YouTube announced on Wednesday that it is launching a new women-oriented channel called Wigs where it will run original series and short films.