Amazon’s corporate culture may be hurting the streaming business

With a company as big and rich as Amazon, it has more than enough resources to outpace its competitors in the streaming industry — but why not? Prime Video is proud of the adaptations of several big name franchises, such as Tom Clancy’s Jack RyanAnd Boys, Lord of the Rings: Rings of PowerAnd the next He falls, But the technology foundation on which Amazon is built seems to be problematic for the streaming business.

as detailed In this piece of Hollywood ReporterSome of the tension behind the scenes at Prime Video stems from Amazon’s Big Tech culture. Amazon is notorious for how it treats employees as cogs in the larger business machine, and that doesn’t quite align with Hollywood’s talent-obsessed ways.

Entertainment executives aren’t happy with Amazon’s unfashionable “grace seat” arrangements

Some of the instances of culture clash between the two worlds are hilarious – insiders spoke to Kim Masters like they were a bit spoiled as they complained about seating plans and the compensation structure. Although this may seem trivial, it is still problematic. Regardless of who is to blame (many sources in Hollywood ReporterHis article cites Prime Video president Jennifer Salke), things aren’t going as well as they should be in Amazon’s streaming business.

Amazon sets base pay for employees at $350,000 with stock options. This is not how compensation is handled in Hollywood or even most other major broadcasters. Employees at Netflix, for example, can choose how much compensation they want in stock for base pay. Because Amazon’s compensation structure differs a lot, the insiders who spoke with Hollywood Reporter He noted that many Amazon Prime executives were simply “marking the time to acquire as much stock as possible.” [to vest] as they can.”

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Amazon also appears to have expanded the “flexi-seating” arrangement to its entertainment arm. This means that only top executives get their own desks, while the rest of the staff is left stowing their personal items in unglamorous lockers and doing their work in unallocated cubicles. This doesn’t seem to translate well to the world of Hollywood, where a good desk for hosting talent and taking calls is as much a sign of prestige as it is of a job. “It only contributes to the feeling of anonymity — that no one knows where his private space and possessions are,” she says. Hollywood Reportersays the source.

But it’s not just the lack of corner desks and huge pay packages that Amazon executives squirm about whining. There are also scales. Technology-based streamers tend to let metrics drive decisions where Hollywood broadcasters may sometimes be more willing to gamble big on gut feelings. A good example of this is Amazon’s entry into live sports with its Thursday Night Football games. Amazon did a really good job with this deal, spending a billion dollars a year and cashing out the netting Record number of Prime subscribers During the broadcast debut as a result.

That’s great, but it has led to the heads of all those people who are hired to find TV shows and movies and create TV shows and movies to wonder why they need to spend on potential big winnings when pouring money on exclusive sports can only get more subscribers. As noted before Hollywood ReporterPrime Video insiders say its success has changed the way the company watches live TV and movies when it comes to snagging — and keeping — Prime subscribers.

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And when you look at how much Amazon has spent on written versus sports content, you can roughly see where those execs are coming from. in february, Amazon described Attracting 100 million viewers for the first season Lord of the Rings: Rings of Powerthat more Expensive offer in the world, at a cost A whopping $450 million (Or roughly $700 million if you factor in the $250 million Amazon paid for the rights Lord of the rings). but, Only 37 percent of users in the United States have watched itHollywood Reporter Reviews, did not live up to expectations.

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Other expensive projects have achieved similar results – if they go anywhere at all. For example, Hollywood Reporter It states that Amazon spent $8 million on a two-year deal with Lena Waithe, who eventually left for HBO Max. She also renewed a $20 million-a-year deal with Phoebe Waller-Bridge after her departure the Mr. and Mrs. Smith the project she was working on. Waller-Bridge now writes for Amazon Tomb rider Adaptation.

According to the company’s earnings report, Amazon spent a total of $16.6 billion on video and music last year, $7 billion, including Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky It says it was spent on “Amazon Originals, live sports, and third-party licensed video content included with Prime.” The company spent half as much as its biggest competitor, Netflix It fluctuated around $16.84 billion last year.

But Amazon’s bill of $7 billion didn’t seem to do much to move the needle in terms of subscribers. Rather than simply maintaining a streaming service that produces solid — but not great — content, Amazon may need to figure out its own Hollywood ambitions before it spends another $7 billion on creating quality content.

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