Netflix wants to increase its spend on original programming, and its chief rival in the streaming video on-demand (SVOD) space is planning to keep pace. During its Q2 2016 earnings call, Amazon announced its pledge to double its investment in video over the final six months of the year.
Amazon did not specify exactly how much money it will allot to video as part of the uptick in funding, but as Business Insider noted, the last time the online retailer revealed its video spend, it shared a $1.3 billion figure for the entire 2014 year. Given that Amazon’s content operation has grown significantly since then, the planned doubling of the video budget bring take Amazon closer to the $6 billion Netflix will spend on its own content in 2016.
While the budget increase will cover all types of video, original content will be a particular focal point for Amazon. The retailer plans to triple the amount of exclusive programming it offers, and it believes that the customers who watch its shows will stick around to buy other goods on the site. “We’re very happy with the customer adoption of Prime Video…it’s clearly working,” said Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky during the call.
If Amazon keeps its current formula intact, the majority of the shows it funds with its fresh budget will first be made available as pilots, which will be served up in batches to consumers. That process helped Amazon find hits like Transparent and Mozart of the Jungle, and it could uncover the top shows of tomorrow as well. Amazon’s next pilot season, which will go live in August, will include three comedies.