Disrupting the Content Distributors

Dungeon Seige (007)

by Ronald C. Burkhardt

Big Media is beset by threats on all sides.  They are trying to deal with the web, the app economy, and the monetization of bandwidth by the cable companies.  ‘Free’ broadcast TV has been challenged by the higher-quality shows on subscription networks like HBO, Showtime, and Starz as well as basic-cable entries like Mad Men or Breaking Bad.  Amazon is looking to do to the studio system what they’ve done to the publishing business.

The entertainment ecosystem is about to be shaken yet again.  Amazon is getting into the content business (Businesswire Press Release via the Verge):

Each month, Amazon Studios intends to option one promising new project and add it to the development slate where it will be tested for viability with an audience. If Amazon Studios elects to distribute a full-budget series, the creator will receive a $55,000 payment, up to 5 percent of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses. Amazon Studios’ production company, the People’s Production Company, is signatory to the Writers Guild of America and to The Animation Guild, Local 839.

To submit, a project must have a five-page description, along with a 22-minute pilot script for comedies, or an 11-minute pilot script for children’s shows. Within 45 days of submission, Amazon Studios will either extend an option on the project for $10,000 or invite the creator to add the project to the Amazon Studios site. If a project is not optioned, creators may remove their idea from the Amazon Studios site or leave it to get community feedback.

What could you produce with $10,000?