Amazon rejects comedies as data reveals originals hunger

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)Amazon Prime Video has turned down all of its latest pilot season comedies, as research from the UK points to new original content as the key driver behind SVOD take-up.

Comedies Sea Oak, The Climb and Love You More will not go into development for the coming year.

There is also no clear decision made on the future of comedies One Mississippi and I Love Dick.

The move arrives as Amazon’s focus shifts to big dramas. In November the company paid US$250 million for the rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Company chief Jeff Bezos has made it clear that content investment will go up in 2018, with an eye on globally popular shows like Game of Thrones.

Amazon’s comedy choices come in the same week new data highlights the importance of premium original content to the streamers.

Ofcom data shows that original content is the key driver of SVOD sign-ups in the UK. The report highlighted that 52% of UK households cite ‘original programming made by service provider’ as a reason to sign up to a streamer.

Amazon also lost its head of half hour Joe Lewis in October, who resigned from the company after content chief Roy Price left amid sexual harassment claims. A replacement is yet to be named.

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