Amazon has laid its new content strategy in Europe with originals boss Georgia Brown claiming that it is looking at the “white space” to come up with new ideas and is not planning to “step on the toes” of the likes of the BBC.
Brown, who is Director of European Originals, Amazon Studios, told an audience at the Royal Television Society London conference, her plans alongside Sky content chief Zai Bennett and Channel 4 Director of Programmes Ian Katz.
This comes after BBC chief Tony Hall took a swipe at the global SVOD services, calling for the likes of Amazon and Netflix to be “taxed” and “regulated” to level the playing field. Hall was speaking at the same time that Deadline revealed exclusively that BBC One breakout drama Bodyguard was being co-produced with Netflix.
However, Brown said that the public service broadcasters, which include the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, were “hugely important to the ecosystem” and that’s why Amazon, through co-productions, works closely with them on shows such as BBC drama Informer (pictured) and C4’s Catastrophe. “It’s important that we support them,” she said.
Amazon is co-producing a number of titles with British broadcasters including Neil Gaiman’s adaptation of Good Omens and also worked on Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson’s take on King Lear as well as Hugh Grant’s A Very English Scandal.
“We’re slightly different because we’re very involved in the British broadcasting industry, we’re not here to step on toes. We’re relying on producers coming to us,” she added.
Former FremantleMedia International exec Brown said that it was looking to commission dramas out of the UK and Europe, although “not necessarily commission through a local lens”.
Brown laid out that it was looking at a range of deals across Europe and that it was prepared to strike deals in specific markets or commission across territory. She highlighted Deutsche-Les-Landes, the company’s first original in France. The show, which is co-produced by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, is a ten-part culture clash comedy. She also showed a clip of its exclusive Manchester City doc, which runs under the All or Nothing brand and said that she was looking for more shows like this, which come with “great access”.
Brown oversees both scripted and non-scripted productions in Europe and Deadline understands that she is looking to bulk up its team to compete. She works closely with Jennifer Salke, the former NBC executive who was named head of Amazon Studios in February. Brown said that Salke was “wonderful” and “she’s a filmmaker at heart”.