Amazon has dismissed concerns that it is “lagging behind” streaming rivals including Netflix in the race for British content, telling UK lawmakers that its game plan is to nurture a much smaller curated slate of originals.
Speaking to UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee on Tuesday, Amazon Studios’ director of European originals Georgia Brown said the streamer is not planning a “big mass push” into British content.
She has overseen a portfolio of content that has grown from eight shows in 2019 to 11 this year and will edge up again in 2021. It includes the likes of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg comedy Truth Seekers and The Grand Tour.
Furthermore, Amazon has co-produced 20 shows with UK broadcasters to date, most notably its BBC collaboration Fleabag, which gave rise to its overall deal with Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Brown said there could be further growth, but it’s unlikely to ever match Netflix, which invested £400M ($520M) in Britain last year and said only last week that it intends to continue spending big.
“We don’t want to be making hundreds of originals for people a year to watch, we don’t believe people have enough time. There is a lot out there,” Brown told MPs via video link.
“I don’t see us as lagging behind other SVoD services. We have our own remit and our own output goals. We are not doing a big mass push into the UK for hundreds of hours of content. We’re taking an approach that we would like to be producing fewer shows at a much better quality. We’re operating very differently.”
During her wide-ranging evidence session, Brown added that she has attempted to make her slate more female-skewing after a lot of energy and marketing power has gone into Jeremy Clarkson motoring show The Grand Tour. She specifically highlighted The Power from The Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano and Sister.
“Investment will continue. Every year, I would like to invest more, but we will never move beyond a very curated approach in terms of our originals,” the former Fremantle executive added.
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