Is a new era of online video dawning? It sure looks like a possibility, as Amazon Instant Video has joined Hulu and Netflix in seeking to produce original TV shows that will exclusively stream online, but not over-the-air television.
Amazon founded a content development division called Amazon Studios back in 2010 to find prospects for original feature films, but this week that mission was extended to include half-hour comedy TV series and children’s programming. Would-be showrunners can visit the Amazon Studios website and submit a pitch. If your show is chosen, you’ll get a hefty check and future royalties on the show when and if it does well.
Amazon’s operating only a few months behind competitors Netflix and Hulu, which have already started similar initiatives. Hulu now has several original shows in its roster, and Netflix is producing a new season of Arrested Development. There’s been some speculation that Netflix may revive Jericho as well. Curiously, market leader iTunes has made few attempts to produce original TV content.
No specific shows have been announced by Amazon Instant Video yet but we’ll let you know when they are.