Amazon to open a new centre in London to spearhead a global push into film and television delivery services.
by Katherine Rushton
The US firm is headquartered in Seattle but said London was “the obvious choice” for the “digital media development” centre, because Britain has led the way in pioneering on-demand services which allow users to rent films and television over the internet. Amazon’s existing on-demand services, LoveFilm and Pushbutton, were both founded in the capital.
The retail giant has taken an eight-storey, 47,000 square foot office near Barbican tube station, and close to the technology hub around Old Street, dubbed “TechCity” or “Silicon Roundabout”.
Paula Byrne, the centre’s managing director, said: “I wouldn’t underplay the value that the UK has brought to this sector. When you look at the specialist skills that are available here, it is the obvious place to come.
The move is part of Amazon “ramping up its focus and effort and energy” on its television and film offerings, she added, helping it to battle against mounting competition from other on-demand services such as America’s Netflix and BSkyB’s newly launched NowTV.
Over the past couple of weeks, Whatie has been reporting on Amazon Studios, a production company that may hold a great deal of promise for newbie writers/creators. (You can read what she’s had to say here, here, and here.) We can’t tell from this report if Amazon is referring to Amazon Studios or not. (Runaway production? Oh noooo!) But, like our friends at Gizmodo, we’ll be keeping a close watch.