Amazon targets Southeast Asia with more originals, acquisitions & expanded team

Erika North

Amazon Prime Video is expanding its focus and operations in Southeast Asia, with plans to produce and licence content in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore next year.

The streamer will also open an office in Singapore as it continues to build upon its presence in the region now that production operations are up and running in Japan, India and Australia.

Recent Amazon Original commissions in the APAC region include a Japanese adaptation of Australian comedy No Activity.

Speaking in an online session at this week’s ATF market, Erika North, director of Amazon Originals Asia-Pacific, revealed that a search is already underway for a director for Southeast Asia, alongside other creative, development and production roles as the company seeks to “amplify” local voices.

“We are at day one when we think of Southeast Asia. We’re very much looking to partner with creatives and want to take that time. Amazon Studios aims to be a true ‘home for talent’,” revealed North.

“We want to be asking creatives some of the most pertinent questions: What is it that you didn’t have the opportunity to make. What is it that Amazon can do to provide the resources, the infrastructure, the distribution to help amplify your stories?”

Impact-driven content

North said that there is “immense flexibility and opportunity” to working with Amazon and that she wants to give creators “a seat at the table when it comes to how their content is seen and viewed around the world.”

She further detailed that she sees “immense” opportunities for scripted, unscripted and film content from the APAC region, but that the company is looking for quality over quantity.

“Amazon is an impact-driven organisation. We are not thinking about hundreds of shows, because we want to give each show the full weight of support. So everything which gets greenlit for us at Amazon Studios and Prime Video, has the full weight of support and is treated as hero content. With that comes time and effort and impact. We are not thinking about a specific volume.”

North continued: “When we are talking about relevance, I’m always asking ‘Why do we want to tell this story now? What is it about this story that makes it particularly prescient now? Where are the genre opportunities that are relatively underdeveloped and untapped?’ And I think that is really how we look to construct our slates.”


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