Amazon Studios’ Ryan Pirozzi and Lauren Anderson have been named IMDb TV co-heads of content. The two will oversee all programming for IMDb TV, including development, production, licensing and strategy, working closely with Amazon Studios co-heads of television Vernon Sanders and Albert Cheng. The IMDb TV business, product and development teams remain in Seattle reporting to VP of IMDb TV, Mark Eamer.
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke and Eamer announced the restructuring in an internal memo. (you can read it at the bottom of the story).
The move comes a year after IMDb TV’s January 2019 launch (as Freedive). It also comes as the platform, which started as a destination for TV and film library titles, is starting to venture into original programming with acquisitions like Corner Gas.
Bringing IMDb TV’s content team into the Amazon Studios’ fold would give the team access to the studio’s roster of talent. Meanwhile, Amazon Studios-based creators and showrunners will have the opportunity to supply two Amazon platforms, the subscription-based Prime Video as well as the free, ad-supported IMDb TV. The original programming direction of IMDb TV is still being honed in but sources describe the type of content the streamer would be aiming for as “compelling, ambitious and vibrant.”
IMDb TV, available as an app on FireTV and a free Channel within the Prime Video and IMDb apps across hundreds of devices, currently features a range of TV and film library titles and has no direct link to Amazon Prime Video originals. Its offerings include TV shows such as Chicago Fire, The Middle, Desperate Housewives and Friday Night Lights, and movies like Shrek Forever After, Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, Empire State and Stranger Than Fiction. IMDb TV recently entered a licensing agreement with Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International to add 20+ scripted TV shows to IMDb TV including the exclusive free streaming service rights to all episodes of Lost and Malcolm in the Middle.
Pirozzi is a nine-year Amazon veteran who most recently was Head of Worldwide Television and Movie Licensing for Prime Video. Anderson was most recently Head of Strategic Content for Amazon Studios and previously held positions in the industry as SVP of Primetime Programming for NBC Entertainment as well as Chief Content Officer for NBC Universal’s joint venture mobile content studio.
Here is Salke and Eamer’s memo:
We are excited to announce that the IMDb TV content team is moving to Amazon Studios reporting to the new co-heads Ryan Pirozzi and Lauren Anderson (aka “@anderozzi”). They will inherit all programming functions, including creative development, production, licensing and strategy. Albert Cheng and Vernon Sanders will work closely with them as we develop an original and licensed slate that builds upon IMDb TV’s inaugural year of success, complements the suite of award-winning Amazon Originals produced for Prime Video, and establishes IMDb TV as an immediately recognizable destination for high quality, free-to-consumer content.
Consistent with Amazon Studios’ ethos of being the best home for talent, we look forward to providing showrunners and creators with another incredible avenue to showcase their work.
We are eager to produce and distribute advertiser-friendly content that will surprise and delight current and future IMDb TV customers. Please join us in welcoming IMDb TV to Amazon Studios.
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