Amazon is holding exploratory talks with major Hollywood studios about creating films for its streaming service, sources confirmed to Deadline. The company has held preliminary discussions with Paramount and Sony and possibly others about the possibility of developing original movies for the streaming service.
Talks are still in the early stages, and no agreements have been reached, sources say. However Amazon is looking for the opportunity to exploit existing studio IP. Sources say Amazon is looking to replicate Paramount’s success with The Cloverfield Paradox, a film sequel that was released directly to rival streaming service Netflix.
None of those involved in the discussions, which were first reported today by Bloomberg, would comment for this story.
The meetings come as executives at Sony and Paramount are weighing their options, as streaming services like Netflix and Amazon continue to gather momentum and consolidation is fortifying traditional media rivals Disney-Fox and WarnerMedia, the latter now a unit of wireless giant AT&T.
Paramount is unlikely to renew its distribution deal with Epix, a pay TV service it launched in a joint venture with Lionsgate and MGM and sold last year to MGM. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has talked about pulling back from licensing agreements to exploit opportunities in the over-the-top market.
Lionsgate is expected to follow a similar path, channeling its movies to its premium cable network, Starz, once licensing deals expire with Epix and HBO, sources say. Starz has a contract to show Sony films for years after they leave theaters in a deal that runs through at least 2021.
The talks come as Amazon is rebuilding the studio under Jennifer Salke, who has stressed multiple times that the streaming company will not be in the volume business. Amazon views its Prime Video as a customer retention tool, not as a stand-alone business.