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Amazon to hire London-based original content boss

Amazon is hiring a London-based head of original content to respond to its growing interest in video entertainment commissioned outside of the US.

Roy-PriceSpeaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday, Amazon Studios director Roy Price said that Amazon planned to “double down” and “grow a team in London”.

The new head of original content will deal with all content originated outside of the US, he said. Previously producers looking to bag an Amazon Original had to pitch to its Los Angeles-based team, with the deals done through pilots and visits.

Price said that Amazon is now involved in roughly eight shows originated in the UK and said “it’s only growing”.

These include Catastrophe, the Amazon and Channel 4 coproduction that was greenlit for a third and fourth series earlier this year, and BBC Three comedy series Fleabag, which is due to launch this Autumn.

Another big Autumn launch for Amazon is UK-originated Top Gear competitor The Grand Tour with Price commenting that Amazon will look at more non-scripted shows on an “opportunistic basis”.

Discussing the success-rate of Amazon’s pilots, Price said: “The batting average is pretty high – I’m going to say it’s like 60%.

“The typical history of pilots in broadcast television in the US is like 10% or something like that. We try not to make a pilot unless we think there’s a good chance of doing it.”

Amazon offers its originals through Prime Video, which is currently available in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan.