Amazon is looking to add some new shows to its streaming video library -- specifically, yours.
The online e-commerce giant with the burgeoning Instant Video site has announced a major initiative from its Amazon Studios wing: Starting now, Amazon is accepting ideas for TV shows from anybody who has a pilot script, an idea for five or six episodes, and an Internet connection. Amazon says that it wil be selecting one idea per month to put into development. If it passes muster and Amazon decides to produce a full slate of shows, the creator will be given $55,000, up to five percent on sales of licensed merchandise, and "other royalties and bonuses," per a press release from Amazon.
The site is right here and you can upload your work right now. Amazon is looking, specifically, for comedies and kids' shows; if you are submitting either, you need to have a completed pilot script in order to be considered.
Though not known for its online video, Amazon does have a rather large selection of streaming TV shows and movies for members of its Amazon Prime subscription service. (Amazon says it has 17,000 titles, though that number has been dismissed as hyperbolic, counting individual episodes of television shows).
Amazon views its Instant Video as a competitor to more well-established services like Netflix and Hulu, both of which are easing into original programming. On both of those sites, however, the original programming is coming from established producers, writers and directors -- for example, the David Fincher-Kevin Spacey drama "House of Cards" on Netflix and the J.D. Walsh ("Two and a Half Men")-created "Battleground" on Hulu.
Amazon is taking a different path, at least in part, openly soliciting material from anyone and everyone. The little-known Studios section of its website already accepts pitches and scripts for movies from would-be writers and producers and exists as a sort of supportive community for striving filmmakers and screenwriters; now Amazon is leveraging that community into possible content for television shows its Instant Video section. Amazon boasted in a press release that it was already developing 15 movie ideas that had been submitted through Amazon Studios; television, then, is a logical next step.
So, if you have an idea for a comedy or kids' show, you could get some recognition through Amazon's Instant Video. If you're ready to strut your stuff, you can click over to Amazon to submit your idea.