Is Amazon shifting gears away from indie films? The answer is yes, according to a recent Reuters report.
Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the matter,” Reuters reports that Amazon plans to change its strategy. The company may be shifting money and attention away from acquiring independent films. Instead, the report states, Amazon plans to push harder on content that might appeal to a wider audience.
This news follows Amazon’s recent announcement that it added over 100 independent films from the Toronto Film Festival. According to Amazon, the company planned to deliver $5.8 million in bonuses to those filmmakers.
Even if Reuters’ recent report proves true, it likely won’t spell the end of Amazon’s Video Direct program. The program is designed to allow independent filmmakers to submit their works to Amazon Prime without compensation from Amazon. Amazon does deliver bonuses to Video Direct content that performs well. It also allows Video Direct submissions to earn money through advertising or rentals. Video Direct effectively allows Amazon to grow its indie content library at little cost to itself.
A More Appealing Content Library?
Amazon’s shift toward what Reuters describes as “programming aimed at a far wider audience” is likely in response to Netflix’s continued original content success. The company’s biggest rival in the streaming market is currently far outspending other services for original content. Amazon’s move toward more appealing content is likely an effort to catch up in offering must-see original programming.